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HEALTH

Mercadona pulls 11 lotions after Health Ministry alert

Company which supplies cosmetics insists there was no risk to public health

Supermarket giant Mercadona has withdrawn 11 cosmetics products from its shelves after being informed by the Spanish Medicine Association that they each contain two substances that cannot be included together in one single product.

When combined, the two elements — triethanolamine, a PH corrector, and bronopol, a preservative — can generate nitrosamine, which has been shown to cause cancers among many species of animal.

Tests have shown the substance could also be a contributory factor to stomach cancer in humans. The Health Ministry said that use of the products would not lead to “any risk to health” in the short or medium term, but noted that studies suggest that nitrosamines can be harmful in the long term.

All of the 11 products were withdrawn at the end of July. As an additional precaution, RNB, the company that makes the products — sun creams, after-sun lotions and skin moisturizers — has changed the barcodes on new batches of the lotions with the correct formula to prevent any of the tainted ones slipping through at checkouts.

Onus on suppliers

According to RNB, the absence of any health risk attached to the products led the state agency not to issue a public health alert.

Mercadona stated it would exchange any of the tainted products for new ones.

RNB, which supplies Mercadona with products bearing the Deliplus brand name, said it understood that a change in the regulations put the onus on providers to ascertain that the conjunction of chemicals did not produce nitrosamines.

According to the company, its technicians were satisfied that the products did not do so but the agency decided on a complete withdrawal to avoid any potential risks to the public.

The 11 products that were taken out of circulation are: Deliplus body lotion with olive oil; Deliplus hand cream; Deliplus body moisturizer with aloe; Deliplus illuminating body lotion; Deliplus reaffirming body lotion; Deliplus anti-dryness foot moisturizer; Deliplus almond body lotion; Deliplus body lotion for atopic skin types; Solcare after-sun lotion; Solcare illuminating after-sun lotion; and Solcare after-sun gel with aloe.