May 28, 2010
Virginia health officials are investigating 10 cases of possible mercury exposure linked to a homemade cream that claims to lighten skin color.
Department of Health environmental epidemiologist Rebecca LePrell says the cases have been in the central and northwestern parts of the state. They involved both children and adults who had of elevated levels of mercury after using the cream, which was shipped from Mexico.
LePrell says Virginia health officials found out about the cases while assisting California health officials in a case involving a family who had also used the cream.
Symptoms of mercury poisoning include irritability, tremors or memory loss.
Residents with questions can contact the Virginia Department of Health at (804) 864-8182.