It is alarming to note that substandard and fake cosmetic products have flooded the country's markets, including capital Dhaka, metropolitan cities, district towns and even rural areas.
As production and import of different products of popular brands have decreased due to the pandemic, the sale and production of counterfeit products have increased drastically.
Reportedly, in the last four months, law enforcement agencies and various agencies have caught huge fake products in about 30 factories while conducting drives. Mobile courts of Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Directorate of National Consumers’ Right Protection seized huge quantities of substandard products during the drives.
It is time to devise regulatory and legislative
steps to ensure transparency in producing
According to health experts, long-term exposure to substandard cosmetic products can potentially cause many diseases, including skin cancer. Counterfeit cosmetics containing mercury can also lead to rashes and skin discoloration.
However, not only the fake cosmetic, cosmetics of many companies also pose serious health hazards as researchers found excessive level of mercury, lead, chromium and cadmium in fairness creams and other cosmetics products available in the market.
Experts are of the opinion that human skin absorbs 60 per cent of the chemicals in products that it comes in contact with, and these chemicals move directly into the bloodstream. In this regard, it is worrying to note that most of the cosmetics especially the skin whitening creams available in Bangladesh market contain higher levels of mercury than the level permissible.
It needs no emphasising that people should choose cosmetics with more caution and try to minimise their usage. The bar code on the company’s packaging should be verified while purchasing any product.
Hitherto we do not have any legal arrangement to press the manufacturers to prove the safety of their products. Therefore, authorities concerned need to devise regulatory and legislative steps to ensure transparency in producing cosmetics.