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SK-II Cosmetics to Resume China Sales
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US consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced on Tuesday it would resume China sales of SK-II skincare cosmetics soon.

The announcement was made after China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and Ministry of Health issued a joint declaration regarding the safety of SK-II products on Monday in Beijing.

The declaration said the neodymium and chromium detected in SK-II cosmetics was naturally-occurring in raw materials and only posed a minor hazard to consumers' health if not used properly. P&G confirmed this.

"There have been no proven cases of health damage caused by the tiny amount of neodymium and chromium in the cosmetics so far," the declaration said.

The administration announced on September 14 that the Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau in south China's Guangdong Province had detected chromium and neodymium in nine types of SK-II cosmetics produced by P&G (Japan). The joint declaration verified the bureau's examination result.

According to China's Regulations on Hygienic Standards for Cosmetics, cosmetics should not contain chromium or neodymium.

Health experts believe chromium can cause skin diseases such as allergic dermatitis and eczema, which is very hard to cure. Neodymium can cause eye irritations and mucosa. If inhaled, the substance can damage the lungs and liver.

After the incident, SK-II products were removed from their shelves and the company started honoring claims for refunds. On September 22, P&G suspended all sales of its SK-II skincare products in China.

"Procter & Gamble would like to thank the relevant Chinese government authorities for their responsible and prudent attitude in dealing with the situation," said Daniela Riccardi, president of P&G (Greater China).

(China Daily October 25, 2006)

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