Mumbai doctors identify fairness cream as the cause for Glomerulonephritis in a family from Akola

6 Feb 2023 • A 20yr old student hailing from Akola, Maharashtra started using a locally made fairness cream she had bought from her beautician. People started complimenting her “glow” and “fairer look”. This prompted her mother & sister to use it too. But their joy was short-lived as each of them, over the next four months developed Glomerulonephritis.

Intrigued, the doctor who diagnosed their kidney problem reached out to his alma mater, KEM Hospital in Parel. The duo, Dr. Tukaram Jamale, head of Nephrology at KEM & Dr. Amar Sultan from Akola zeroed in on the culprit : The skin whitening cream the women shared.

The results from testing the various items, including the creams, at KEM’s Ayurveda Laboratory shocked the doctors. “The levels of mercury in the skin cream was in thousands as against the permissible level of less than 1 ppm,’’ said Dr Jamale. Mercury can inhibit melanocytes. As the cream had high concentration of mercury, it was making them fairer while adversely affecting their kidneys. Their treatment is ongoing.

The presence of heavy metals in cosmetics is not new. In 2014, Delhi-based CSE tested 32 creams and found that 14 had heavy metals. “The Akola incident is just the tip of the iceberg,’’ said Dr Jamale. Source: ET HealthWorld | Read full story

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