In some countries the figure is higher: a … It’s estimated to be worth $31.2 billion U.S. by 2024. The World Health Organization says the skin lightening industry is one of the fastest growing beauty industries in the world. Skin bleaching is a common thing in Nigeria, so much so that Nigeria has been declared the World capital of skin bleaching. Outer Shell Africa–Skin and Appearance Social Lab, Why the Kremlin is Waltzing over “Matilda”. All people have a right to health. It is projected that, by 2024, the profits from the sale of skin bleaching agents will be around $31.2 billion internationally with Africa and Asia contributing to about 65% of the overall profits. The report, which examines the dangers of mercury in … Many expectant mothers put their unborn babies at great risk by their unrepentant use … The World Health Organization published an assessment on skin bleaching in 2011, which stated that 77 percent of Nigerians use skin-lightening products—the highest proportion in the world. But this leaves the dangers of harmful skin-bleaching treatments—which are ubiquitous in Nigeria, across Africa, and among dark-skinned individuals around the world—largely unrecognized. Other effects include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and peripheral neuropathy. Skin lightening — also called skin whitening or skin bleaching — is the practice of using cosmetics to either reduce the appearance of age spots and/or discoloration or to change one’s natural complexion. Exposure to chemicals in the bleaching products—notably, mercury, hydroquinone, and steroids—has been associated with a variety of adverse health effects. Mercury can be eliminated from skin lightening products by working with health and environmental ministries and raising public awareness about the dangers to health from mercury and other hazardous chemicals (such as hydroquinone) in skin lightening products. The belief that fairer skin is more appealing than darker skin means that people bleach their skin to enhance their beauty; they desire to feel and be perceived as beautiful. In Nigeria alone, 77% of women -- by extrapolation, more than 60 million people are using lightening products on a "regular basis", the World Health Organization (WHO) said in 2011. Extensive public awareness campaigns have been going on for years, led by the WHO, international NGOs, and media outlets, to educate adults on the dangers of smoking, on safe sex, on healthy eating, and on the importance of driving with a seat belt. Is There a Dark Side to Arctic Cooperation? When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. The skin-bleaching products flooding Nigerian markets must be actively and thoroughly checked by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and Nigerian customs officials to ensure that the dangerous ones are not smuggled in—banned should mean banned. Even in some countries where such products have been banned, they are still advertised and available to consumers via the Internet and other means. She is also the founder of Outer Shell Africa–Skin and Appearance Social Lab. Despite numerous articles written, blogs posted, satires published, and a BBC documentary released on the topic, none proffer active solutions. Some have just partial information, and might think, say, that a product is healthy as long as it does not contain hydroquinone. 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