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Skin-Lightening Practices and Mercury Exposure in the Somali Community

Author(s): Amira Adawe; Charles Oberg, M.D., M.P.H.
Date Authored: July 01, 2013

Article in the July 2013 edition of Minnesota Medicine, the regional medical journal of the Minnesota Medical Association. This article describes an investigation that involved interviewing Somali women about skin-lightening practices and the products they use and then testing those products for mercury. Eleven of the 27 product samples (47%) were found to contain mercury. Some exceeded the current FDA threshold of 1 part per million. This has prompted both state and federal health officials to issue warnings about the use of these products. The article presents a table with specific product names and their corresponding mercury levels.

The link address is: http://www.minnesotamedicine.com/Portals/mnmed/July%202013/Skinlighteningpractices.pdf