Feds probing homemade skin cream link to mercury

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Federal officials are investigating cases of possible mercury exposure linked to a homemade cream from Mexico that claims to lighten the skin, fade freckles and age spots, and treat acne.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokesman Ira Allen says the
agency was recently made aware of the issue and is conducting
investigations in several states, said spokesman Ira Allen. He
would not say which states are included in the investigation.

Virginia health officials are investigating 10 cases in the central and northwestern parts of the state involving children and adults who had elevated levels of mercury after using the cream over the course of a few years.

Mercury has been banned from almost all regulated and over
the-counter medications in the U.S. because it's so toxic.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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