6,500 items of Goree beauty products were seized at a warehouse in Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Photo: Bureau of Customs, Wikimedia Commons

The Philippine Bureau of Customs says it seized 8 million pesos’ (US$150,000) worth of potentially toxic beauty products that were declared for “personal use” at the PairCargo Warehouse in Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said 6,500 items of beauty products were found in 12 large boxes that were imported from Abu Dhabi, Manila Bulletin reported.

Lapeña said the products’ brand Goree was not approved by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the highly toxic mercury in the products could cause adverse health effects such as kidney damage, skin rashes, akin discoloration and scarring.

“Other effects include anxiety, depression or psychosis and peripheral neuropathy. The transfer of mercury to the fetus of pregnant women may manifest as neurodevelopment deficits later in life,” Lapeña said.

The FDA released a public advisory last October that the distribution of Goree products was prohibited after toxic mercury levels were found.

Despite the public advisory, sellers are still trying to sneak in these prohibited items because of the increasing demand from consumers,” Lapeña said.