The Ghana Food and Drugs Authority has commenced the implementation of the ban on import and sale of skin bleaching products imposed in January this year.
The Acting Chief Executive of the Authority, Mimi Darko told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that they are cracking down on the products in the market.
She told the committee that the FDA has stopped registering products containing the bleaching chemical hydroquinone and has launched a sensitization programme against the sale of the product in the market.
“The bleaching agent in most bleaching creams is hydroquinone and the Ghana standard now is, there should be zero percent hydroquinone in bleaching creams,” she is quoted by local media.
“The FDA is working with cosmetic sellers to ensure that those creams are not available on the market. The lab is also testing to make sure that even if they try and hide it, we will find it in laboratory analysis,” she added.
The ban on skin bleaching creams followed that of neighbouring Ivory Coast – a major production point of bleaching creams – in 2015.
The Ivorian health ministry said at the time that the ban was due to fears of lasting damage to health.
Bleaching creams contain mercury and its derivatives, cortisone, vitamin A or more than two percent hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is a lightening agent that is used to develop photographs.