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Public advised to stop using some skin-lightening products after testing reveals that they may contain mercury


Wed, May 25th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is advising state residents to stop using some types of skin-lightening products, after testing revealed that they may contain dangerous levels of mercury.

The implicated products were sold as skin-lightening agents, although they may also be used as skin-smoothing products. MDH tested 27 samples of the products, including 23 creams and four soaps. All of the samples were collected in the Twin Cities by staff from Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health.

Eleven of the skin creams contained mercury, at levels ranging from 135 to 33,000 parts per million (ppm). Under federal law, most cosmetics - including skin-lightening products - can contain no more than "trace" amounts of less than one ppm, and only if it is impossible to avoid adding it during the manufacturing process.

Although skin-lightening products may be applied to broad areas of the skin, they may also be applied in smaller amounts to specific sites or spots on the skin. Consumers are being advised to stop all use of these products if they can't be sure the products are mercury-free.

Consumers are also being urged not to dispose of skin products that may contain mercury as normal trash. Instead, they should be taken to a disposal site that accepts household hazardous waste. A statewide list of disposal sites is available on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) website.

Consumers with concerns about the use of skin-lightening products can call the Minnesota Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it offers language interpretation services. Users of the products are also being encouraged to contact the poison center with information about where the products were purchased.

A broad variety of skin-lightening products is available for sale, and MDH officials emphasized that they were only able to test a limited number of them. It may not always be possible to tell whether a particular skin-lightening product contains mercury, so skin-lighteners should always be used with caution.

At a minimum, consumers should make sure that:

the product they are using has an ingredient list and

mercury is not listed as an ingredient.

Officials cautioned that mercury may appear on product labels under several different names. Consumers should check for anything that includes the words "calomel," "mercuric," "mercurous" or "mercurio."

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Health officials alert salon owners about hair-smoothing products that contain formaldehyde

Wed, Apr 20th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness



Officials from the Minnesota Department of Health today are warning hair salon owners and their customers about certain hair-smoothing products-sometimes referred to as keratin treatments-that may contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can presen ..... 
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Teal ribbons

Fri, Apr 8th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Sexual Violence is when sexual behaviors and comments are unwanted. 

When sexual behavior is not consensual, is forced or is coerced, it may be a crime. These crimes includ ..... 
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Report: Affordable Care Act controls costs for early retiree coverage in Minnesota

Wed, Mar 2nd, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness



State and local governments, private employers in Minnesota receive $4,243,495 in 2010

to help protect coverage for retired Americans

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report showing tha ..... 
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Project Fit Families, Pursuing a Dream

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness

Melinda Coscarelli Lutes, Harmony, is on her way to fulfilling her dream. She has established a non-profit organization "Project Fit Families." The immediate goal is to educate children about physical fitness and healthy living.

During her ..... 
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Project Fit Families, Pursuing a Dream

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness

Melinda Coscarelli Lutes, Harmony, is on her way to fulfilling her dream. She has established a non-profit organization "Project Fit Families." The immediate goal is to educate children about physical fitness and healthy living.

During her ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Study shows sleep-deprived teens eat more

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness

According to a recent study in the journal Sleep, teens who sleep less than eight hours a night are more likely to eat a high-fat diet that puts them at risk for obesity and other health problems.

The study found that sleep-deprived teens te ..... 
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Massage therapy benefits both body and mind

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness

It seems that this is the time of year when the emphasis is on losing weight, eating healthy foods, starting some type of exercise program and trying to figure out a way to deal with the aches and pains of life without having to pop a dozen or more ..... 
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New screening shows highs and lows in state third graders' oral health

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Health & Wellness

Oral health data collected in Minnesota for the first time show that the mouths of state third graders meet and exceed some national norms but fall short on others.

"The data show mixed findings," Dr. Edward Ehlinger, commissioner of the Mi ..... 
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