A global study has revealed that many whitening creams and other products contain dangerously high levels of mercury.
It should be noted that mercury is also called "liquid silver" because it is in a liquid state at normal temperatures.
Mercury is used in hundreds of products and devices, from thermometers to dentistry, and electrical appliances to cosmetics. But there are safe limits for the use of mercury in each sector, which are also regulated by international laws.
A "safe amount" of mercury in cosmetic products is defined as one part per million (1 PPM) or less, But a recent study in 17 countries found that 48 percent of bleaching products contained mercury well above the safe limit.
These products are available on almost all major e-commerce platforms in the world, including Amazon and eBay, and are being purchased in over 100 countries from the US to Australia.
This research report has been published by the "Zero Mercury Working Group", an international organization working on the elimination of mercury pollution, with the cooperation of non-governmental organizations in different countries.
For the purpose of the research, 271 skin whitening products purchased from 40 e-commerce platforms including Amazon, eBay and AliExpress were analyzed separately.
The analysis showed that 129 of these products had mercury levels well above the safe limit of 1 ppm.
Another alarming revelation in the report is that 43 percent of mercury-rich products are either manufactured in Pakistan or packaged in Pakistan.
They also include the names of some famous Pakistani skin-lightening creams and other related products.
Not only this, these bleaching products have been found to contain mercury thousands of times higher than the safe limit but, amazingly, these products are also available unhindered through e-commerce platforms in dozens of countries.