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Health department investigating mercury contamination from face cream

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 20:23:48-04

The Pima County Health Department has recently learned that mercury contaminated face cream is being used by some residents in the area, according to a press release. 

Officials say the health department was contacted by a physician affiliated with the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona on a child who had been hospitalized with mercury poisoning on July 12. 

Health officials say the Arizona Department of Health Services has been notified and and the Environmental Protection Agency assessed the extent of the mercury contamination at the home. 

The health department's investigation shows the source of the exposure is a face cream used for lightening the skin that was purchased in Mexico. 

Health officials are aware of two brands that people should avoid, "Mireya" and "Nene Gardoqui."

The health department is asking individuals who may have this product to stop using it immediately and to bring it to the City of Tucson Household Hazardos Waste Program drop off site. Locations can be found here.

Health officials recommend to not use creams containing mercury. 

As well, the department recommends to check the label of any skin lightening, anti-aging or other skin products. 

If you have purchased a skin cream or other skin product from Mexico and you are not sure about the ingredients listed you can contact the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at 800-222-1222.

If you think you have been using a product with mercury, you are urged to stop using it immediately. The health department says to wash your hands and any other parts of your body that have come in contact with the product. 

If you have any questions, call the Arizona Poison Drug and Information Center.

The Pima County Health Department reminds citizens to properly dispose of hazardous waste, do not throw out in trash or down the drain.