The Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency ( BPOM ) has warned Indonesian consumers to be careful of several chemically-tainted cosmetics on the market.
As of March, the agency had found 17 products that contained dangerous or prohibited chemicals.
BPOM chairwoman Lucky S. Slamet said the cosmetic products contained a wide variety of ingredients that might pose serious health risks.
'We are warning consumers not to use the products, which can cause serious illness and even death,' she said in a press conference on Monday.
The 17 cosmetics include products with the brand-names Cantik, Chrysant, Green Alvina, Hayfa, and Tabita, as well as cosmetics prescribed by Dr. Nur Hidayat SpKK.
Lucky said there was a trend in the use of dangerous chemicals in beauty products that the BPOM had identified in its market operations up to March.
'Like in previous years, most of the dangerous products contain whitening ingredients that are either prohibited or contain amounts that exceed the appropriate standards,' said the agency head.
She said most of the cosmetic products were marketed via online, beauty clinics and beauty parlors.
BPOM data shows that the number of chemically-tainted cosmetics has declined to 0.74 percent of the total samples it examined, down from 1.49 percent in 2009.
Lucky said the toxic cosmetics had been drawn from the market and destroyed while the perpetrators were brought to justice.
During the last five years, she said, 268 toxic cosmetic'related cases had been brought before the court, in which the perpetrators faced a penalty of two years and one month in prison at a maximum.
'The sentences have had only a limited deterrence effect on offenders,' said Lucky. ( asw/ebf )