Analysis of Mercury (Hg) in Whitening Cream Distributed in Palu City by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Endah Dwijayanti1 and Susanti2

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematical and Sciences, Islam University of Makassar, 2Department Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Airlangga University of Surabaya. INDONESIA

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This study aimed to obtain chemical data of mercury from some whitening cream distributed in Palu City. The whitening cream samples consisted of 3 groups (A, B and C), each sample of the group was extracted through wet destructions. The qualitative analysis was with HCl 2.0 M, KI 0.50 N, NaOH 2.0 N reagents, while the quantitative analysis was performed with Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). The results of the qualitative analysis indicated that the A sample reacted with NaOH 2.0 N reagent delivered yellow precipitates and C sample with KI 0.50 N reagent delivered red precipitates. Both data indicated that both samples showed positive reaction of Hg (II). However, the B samples did not occur the positive reaction indicating Hg.  Based on Indonesian National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) regulation, (No.HK. of 2011) related to the requirements of microbe and heavy metals contamination in cosmetics, the Hg (II) concentration in cream should be no more than 1,000.0 μg g-1. AAS results found in present study demonstrated that A sample holded mercury content over the level required by the BPOM, which it was 4,554.00 μg g-1.  The B and C samples were 47.18 and 780.32 μg g-1 respectively, both samples did not exceed the limits set by the regulation but continuous application might be toxic for body.

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