NewsCovering California


Sacramento woman poisoned by tainted face cream, similar creams found in the Valley

Posted at 12:40 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 15:40:30-04

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — They look like your average body lotions and creams, but the California Department of Public Health says these all have dangerous levels of mercury inside.

It's a tainted bottle of Pond's face cream, similar to the one that left a woman in a semi-comatose state in Sacramento.

"What we know is the product came from Jalisco, Mexico and came across the border and we don't know at what point the product was contaminated," said senior health program coordinator, Yvonne Rodriguez.

The department's long list of products containing dangerous levels of the chemical are similar as they were created in other countries.

Many were found in several California counties, including Tulare County.

"It's concerning, it's challenging to find out how to track them because as soon as operation shuts down another pops up," said Dr. Rais Vohra with California Poison Control of Fresno/Madera.

Dr. Rais Vorah says the chemical is often found in skin lightening creams or products aimed at clearing blemishes, but with an illegal amount of mercury inside, the consequences can be deadly.

"It can affect every organ system. It's a potent poison to the nervous system," he said.

Dr. Vorah said doctors haven't had cases at Community Regional Medical Center, but they get calls regarding mercury poisoning from all over the state.

That's why he says it's important to be aware of the symptoms

"If they have tingling on skin or face, where ever you're using this cream," he said.

Vorah said if any of you're noticing any of these symptoms, stop using the cream, and go to your doctor immediately.

Dr. Vohra advises folks to look at suspicious or hand-made labels on containers, or just buy the creams from a reputable market.