Mercury toxicity due to use of a cosmetic cream

Cheryl McRill, Leslie V. Boyer, Timothy J. Flood, Luis Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Arizona Department of Health Services performed an investigation to determine the health effects associated with the use of a mercury-containing beauty cream. A urine test for mercury was offered to cream users who contacted the Arizona Department of Health Services. Those with urine mercury levels >20 μg/L were offered clinical evaluation. Eighty-nine urine specimens were submitted for testing. Of these, 66 showed an elevated urine mercury level (>20 μg/L), and 55 people were evaluated in clinic. There were no major abnormalities found through physical examination or laboratory testing. Urine mercury levels declined from an initial mean of 170 μg/L to 32 μg/L at the final test (mean, 139 days later). The high urine mercury levels indicate that the use of this cosmetic cream constitutes a significant exposure. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were frequently reported, but few objective signs were noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-7
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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