Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has impounded 622 cartons of cosmetics containing the banned hydroquinone valued at Shs120 million from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
URA’s acting Assistant Commissioner Enforcement said the cosmetics were intercepted at Kagamba in Kanungu District impounded and taken to URA headquarters in Kampala on February 4, according to Daily Monitor.
In the last 10 years, there has been a rapid growth in the importation of substandard products that are not only dangerous to human life but present huge economic challenges.
According to UNBS, a number of crèmes and soaps that are used in skin lightening contain hydroquinone.
The products, which also can help to clear dark skin patches, liver spots and age or pregnancy spots have a number of side effects, including skin discolouration, mild burning and skin dryness.
Mercury products, which also have functions similar to those of hydroquinone products, have the potential to damage inner organs such as the kidney and skin scaring. Mercury, which is also used as a preservative in a number of products such as eye makeup cleansing and mascara, has the potential to cause long term effects if used in excess.