Recycling & Waste

Skin Lightening Creams

Definition

Tests by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) show that some skin-lightening products sold in the Twin Cities have high levels of mercury. Mercury in these products can damage the kidneys, affect the nervous system, or cause pain or rashes. Unborn babies, infants, and children are very sensitive to mercury. Pregnant women and women of child-bearing age should avoid being exposed to mercury.

Legal Considerations

It is illegal to place mercury-containing products in the trash.

Disposal

If your skin lightening cream container is not labeled with the ingredients, assume it contains mercury. It is illegal to place mercury-containing products in the trash. Residents should bring the creams to a household hazardous waste collection site.