Tainted skin cream from Mexico gives Sacramento woman mercury poisoning

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SACRAMENTO (KRON) — A Sacramento woman is in the hospital in a semi-comatose state after using skin cream tainted with methylmercury, according to public health officials.

The woman obtained the Pond’s-labeled skin cream through an informal network that imported the cream from Mexico, according to Sacramento County Public Health.

Public health officials say this is the first reported case of methylmercury poisoning of this type linked to a skin cream in the United States.

The cream is used as a skin lightener and to remove spots and wrinkles.

Health officials say the mercury was not added by the Pond’s manufacturer, but by a third party after purchase.

“Sacramento County Public Health urges the community to immediately stop using similar skin creams imported from Mexico due to the risk of contamination with methylmercury,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye. “Methylmercury is extremely dangerous to adults and children.” 

Sacramento County Public Health is working with the California Department of Public Health to test similar creams in the Sacramento-area for methylmercury.

For free medical advice in English or other languages, call California Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222

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