Shopkeeper fined £1,500 over skin cream

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Warnings over banned ingredient in skin lightening products

A SHOPKEEPER who was caught selling skin bleaching creams containing a banned chemical linked with health problems has been ordered to pay more than £1,500, following a Manchester City Council prosecution.

Haider Janjaji, the owner of Openshaw Superstore, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of selling the cream during a hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 30 September.

He was fined £550 along with costs of £1,024 and a £15 victims of crime surcharge.

A City Council trading standards officer examined the Ashton Old Road store in September 2008 and found jars and bottles of skin lightening cream that listed hydroquinone as an ingredient. The substance has been banned since 2000 due to health concerns.

Eleven different creams, including Crusader, Miss Caroline, and Lite n Lovely, were taken from the shop and examined in a specialist lab.

They were all found to have contained the banned substance.

Janjaji later attended a City Council interview in which he admitted buying the creams from a man he knew only as Sundi, who arrived at his shop selling them from the boot of his car.

Although Janjaji gave the officer the man’s mobile phone number, there was no response from the number.

Councillor Richard Cowell, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, said: “Skin creams containing hydroquinone have been banned since 2000, and anyone who uses them can risk developing serious health problems.

“This prosecution sends out a clear message that other irresponsible traders like Janjaji will not get away with jeopardising the health of Manchester residents.”

Anyone who is concerned they may have used these skin creams is advised to contact their GP.

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