The Nigeria Senate on Tuesday mandated it Committee on Health to investigate the procedures for certification on quality and safety of Cosmetics and propose a way forward for accountability.
The upper chamber also directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to rise up to its duty of regulating importation, formulation and sale of cosmetics within Nigeria.
It further directed NAFDAC to maintain a products database, showing name and address of manufacturers and ingredients list.
The upper chamber mandated NAFDAC to embark on sensitization and awareness campaign on the ills of harmful substances in the country.
It also directed NAFDAC and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) to collaborate towards ensuring the tracking of Consumer injury.
These resolutions of the Senate followed the adoption, by the Senate, of the prayers in a motion titled: “Need for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to move swiftly to regulate formulation and distribution of cosmetics.”
The motion was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central).
Senator Tinubu in her lead debate urged his colleagues to note the proliferation of small and medium enterprises and businesses “whose stock in trade is the formulation of beauty products ranging from lotions to Oils, scrubs and soaps, with many labelled handmade, natural and/or organic.”
She observed that that the use of natural plants for beauty and medicinal purposes is as old as humanity.
She added: “Aware that organic products in modern formulations have gained renewed popularity as a result of concerns about synthetic ingredients and chemicals, and Nigeria is no exception.
“Worried that these products often contain the words glowing, lightening, whitening, half-cast, etc, while indicating no list of ingredients to enlighten users as to its content.
“Also worried that contrary to best practices, these products often do not provide a best before date.
“Concerned that the market for cosmetics is huge, with women appearing to be the primary target.
“Further concerned that it is not unusual to see some of these products exclusively marketed for use by babies and children.
“Worried that it is impossible to determine that hygiene, quality assurance and good manufacturing practices are adhered to in the formulation of these products.
“Aware that a substantial part of the problem is the absence of standards that these products must meet before they are made available to the public.
“Reminded that in advanced countries, persons licensed to deal with skin issues and concerns, Dermatologists and Aestheticians, receive training and certification.
“Also reminded that in advanced countries, products must pass a toxicology test and be substantiated for safety before they go on sale.
“Reminded that the skin is the largest organ of the human body with over twenty physiological functions, capable of absorbing products applied.
“Further reminded that the various studies have shown that depending on ingredients, a substantial amount of products applied topically to skin are absorbed into the bloodstream.
“Notes that side effects of these harmful substances may include skin damage, kidney failure, liver failure, breathing problems, poor wound healing, scars and skin cancer amongst others.
Received with shock, video circulating in December 2019 of a woman who was supposedly having the top layer of her skin peeled off in what appeared to be a Skin Lightening procedure at the business place of a cosmetics formulator/vendor.
“Posits that unless the market is regulated and world standards for toxicity and safety adhered to, we will be putting a lot of the citizens at risk while certain elements profit.
“Reminded that the regulation of any sector, for the protection of its people is a duty of Government.”
Senators in their contributions supported the motion.