Deadly Beauty Products

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Thursday, March 20, 2014


WOMEN (and men) should be careful when buying beauty products. The environmental group EcoWaste Coalition warned about the use of toxic beauty products. In its blog site, the Coalition aired the warning after detecting high levels of mercury on 11 brands of imported skin whitening cream products that it collected from its latest market surveillance in Manila, Parañaque and Pasay Cities.

The unregistered products that supposedly came from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia were found to contain mercury up to 15,900 parts per million (ppm) in gross violation of the threshold limit of 1 ppm under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive. High exposure to Mercury is detrimental to health.

I have nothing against those who are obsessed with white skin. But let’s remember that dark skin tone is a natural defence against Sun exposure. Dark skin is less likely to get sunburned and less likely to develop skin cancer. We are a tropical country so the Creator designed our skin tone to be Tan or light brown.

Nonetheless if you choose to change your kayumanggi complexion to a lighter one using whitening cream, just make sure you don’t buy toxic products.

* * *

Manila you’re not alone. Paris too is polluted. Few days ago, thousands of cars were banned in the streets of Paris to curb air pollution which has reached dangerous levels. Just like Manila’s color coding scheme, alternate driving days based on car plates was implemented in this city which is famous for its Eiffel Tower. Hundreds of Policemen were deployed to enforce the ban. This is the first time since 1997 that such a drastic measure was implemented in the French capital.

The ban however, lasted only for a day. The French government stopped the ban claiming that the experiment aimed at curbing air pollution had been successful.

* * *

Tomorrow, March 22, is World Water Day. The theme for this year is "Water and Energy." The United Nations wants to highlight the link between water and energy. The Philippines can relate very well to this theme because we have many hydroelectric plants. About 20 percent of our electricity requirement is supplied by hydropower generation.

Globally, hydroelectricity is the largest renewable source for power generation and its share in total electricity generation is expected to remain around 16% through 2035. Waterborne transit on the other hand is one of the most energy efficient. Inland towing barges are more than 3 times more energy efficient than road trucks and 40% more efficient than rail (It’s good that MMDA is reviving its Pasig River Ferry transport system).

In this World Water Day celebration, let us also be reminded of our basic responsibility: Save Water!

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 21, 2014.

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