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Supermarket prosecuted over cosmetics containing mercury and lead (7 September 2015)

Date: 07/09/2015
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Supermarket prosecuted over cosmetics containing mercury and lead

A supermarket in Birmingham has pleaded guilty to nine offences under the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013, after council offers seized products which were not labelled correctly or contained banned substances.

Maaz Supermarket Ltd – based at 229-233 Witton Road in Aston, Birmingham – was inspected by Birmingham City Council officers in June 2014.

Trading Standards seized more than 300 products from the store and laboratory tests revealed that Stillman’s Skin Bleach Cream comprised 2.5% mercury and KalaKola Hair Tonic comprised 1% lead – both are toxic and are banned for use in cosmetics.

If mercury is used in skin lightening products, a range of side effects may occur – including skin rashes, scarring and discoloration.

When absorbed, lead can cause damage to the nervous system, brain, kidneys and reproductive system – which in turn may lead to developmental and behaviour problems in children whose mothers absorbed lead while pregnant.

The supermarket has first been inspected 27 July, 2011 when a routine inspection took place. On this occasion, officers found some cosmetic products failed to comply with labelling requirements of the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008.

Mazz Supermarket was ordered to remove all non-compliant products –
The business was given guidance notes.

When officers returned to the store in June 2014 for another routine inspection, they found non-compliant products were still on the shelves.

Maaz Supermarket was allowed to continue trading throughout the investigation, which culminated in a prosecution being brought.

On Friday, 4 September 2105 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, Mazz Supermarket Ltd pleaded guilty to nine charges and was fined £2,450. The company was ordered to pay costs of £3,686.55 and a £35 victim surcharge.

After the hearing, Chair of the city’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, Councillor Barbara Dring, said:

“Consumers rely on cosmetic products such as hair products and skin creams being safe to use – and as such expect the labelling of ingredients to be accurate and clearly visible.

“The fact that some of these products did not list their ingredients correctly means many shoppers buying them were potentially put at risk.

“Regardless of how good a consumer wants to look, they should always check the ingredients of any cosmetics, hair or skin product, otherwise they could end up with rashes, scarring or something worse – such as brain damage or reproductive problems – as an unwanted accessory.”


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Duncan Lewis personal injury solicitors can advise those who suffer injury as a result of faulty products on how to make a no win no fee claim for compensation, including claims involving:

• Cosmetic products and therapies
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Personal injury claims have to be made within three years of injury or diagnosis of injury – children can claim compensation for injuries from faulty goods up to the age of 21.

For expert legal advice on no win no fee Faulty Goods Claims, contact Duncan Lewis personal injury solicitors on 020 7923 4020.

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