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California woman in semi-comatose state due to mercury poisoning from Mexican skin cream

A 47-year-old woman in California has been in a semi-comatose state for weeks after using a dust-labeled skin cream seized with methylmercury.

It's the first reported case of methylmercury poisoning from a skin cream in the United States, Sacramento County health officials said.

The woman's son told NBC affiliate KCRA in Sacramento that his mother has been in the hospital since July. She arrived with numbness in her hands and face, slurred speech and trouble walking, the county health care officer told the outlet.

She was able to respond to verbal commands first, but she is now in a semi-comatose, KCRA reported.

She was found to have more than 500 times the acceptable amount of mercury in her blood, according to KCRA.

Doctors tested the woman's cosmetics as the source of the poisoning. "When they came to the face cream is when they noticed that it had a very high level of mercury," her son said.

Methyl mercury is a very toxic form of mercury.

The woman got dust-labeled cream through an "informal network" that imported it from Mexico, health officials said in a statement.

"This type of cream is used by consumers as a lighter and to remove stains and wrinkles," the statement says. "Mercury was not added by the Pond manufacturer, but by a third party after purchase."

The dams said in a statement to NBC News, "We do not use mercury in our products. We take this issue very seriously and work closely with all authorized retailers to make sure products remain intact and safe for use from transportation. to the shelf. "

" Illegal sales, product manipulation, and resale are the beauty industry's problems that deserve careful attention and consumer awareness, "said the ponds. "The product in question is not sold in the United States"

Mercury is sometimes added to creams by third parties because the venom stops melanin production, KCRA reported, citing health officials.

Mercury can enter the nervous system and cause serious injury. "When it passes into the brain, even if you go to the hospital, the medicine that we have may not pull it out," says Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye told KCRA.

Both state and local health officials warned the public to stay away from such creams.

"Sacramento County Public Health urges the community to immediately stop using similar skin creams imported from Mexico because of the risk of contamination with methylmercury," Kasirye said in the statement.

In California alone, there have been over 60 poisonings over the past nine years linked to foreign trademark, unlabelled or homemade skin creams that contained a less toxic form of mercury, mercury chloride or calomel, the statement said.

The California Department of Public Health said it is illegal to sell skin cream products in the United States that have 1

ppm or more of mercury.

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