Health News

Mumbai doctors link fairness cream to kidney illness in family

MUMBAI: Soon after 20-year-old biotech student Vibha (name changed) started using a locally made fairness cream she had bought from her beautician in Akola, people started complimenting her “glow” and “fairer look”. This prompted her mother and elder sister to start using the cream too.

But their joy was short-lived as each of them, over the next four months in early 2022, developed glomerulonephritis, a condition in which the tiny filters in the kidneys are damaged.

Intrigued, the doctors who diagnosed their kidney problem reached out to his alma mater, KEM Hospital in Parel. After hours of online brainstorming, the teacher-and-student duo of Dr Tukaram Jamale, head of nephrology at KEM, and Dr Amar Sultan from Akola zeroed down on a likely culprit: a makeup kit the women shared.

The results from testing the various items, including the creams, at KEM’s Ayurveda laboratory shocked the doctors. “The levels of mercury in the skin cream were in the thousands as against the permissible level of less than 1 ppm (parts per million),” said Dr Jamale. Mercury levels in Vibha’s blood were 46 while the normal count is less than 7.

Mercury, a heavy metal toxic to humans, can inhibit melanocytes, the cells responsible for pigmentation. “As the cream had high concentration of mercury, it was making them fairer while adversely affecting their kidneys,” he said.

Vibha has not yet completely healed but her her mother and sister have recovered.

The presence of heavy metals in cosmetics is not new. In 2014, Delhi-based CSE tested 32 creams and found that 14 had heavy metals. “The Akola incident is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr Jamale.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button