The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a warning Tuesday about skin creams that may contain mercury.
One of those creams, Crema Aguamary, has been linked to one case of mercury poisoning in the state. It was purchased in Mexico and used by somebody in Maryland.
Mercury in skin creams can cause memory problems and problems with the nervous system, kidneys, skin, blood pressure, and digestive tract, according to state health officials. Unborn babies, infants and children are especially sensitive to the effects of mercury.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits the sale of skin-bleaching products containing mercury in the United States.
Products that contain the ingredients mercury, mercurio, mercuric, mercurous, or calomel should not be used, DHMH cautioned. Health officials also said consumers should avoid using skin creams if the labels do not have a listing of ingredients.
Consumers who have face cream that contains mercury should seal the jar in a plastic bag or leak-proof container and throw it away.