Rwanda bans skin bleach­ing creams

The East African - - OUTLOOK -

The coun­try has banned 1,343 skin bleach­ing prod­ucts con­tain­ing high lev­els of hy­dro­quinone, say­ing users risk skin can­cer.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice state­ment, a re­cent joint op­er­a­tion across the coun­try seized more than 5,000 as­sorted sub­stan­dard bleach­ing prod­ucts from beauty shops. Lab tests on sam­ples found more than the per­mis­si­ble lev­els of hy­dro­quinone. The im­ported prod­ucts in­cluded body oils, lo­tions, and toi­let soaps. Patrick Ndimubanzi, the state min­is­ter of pub­lic and pri­mary health­care, has also asked traders not to im­port or sale sub­stan­dard prod­ucts. Pres­i­dent Paul Kagame's re­cently termed use of the pro­hib­ited chem­i­cals was "quite un­healthy."

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