KIGALI, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Rwandan Ministry of Health has blacklisted 1,343 skin bleaching products containing high levels of hydroquinone, which puts users at the risk of suffering skin cancer, an official said Saturday.
On a talk show on the national TV station Rwanda Television on Saturday, Patrick Ndimubanzi, the state minister of public and primary healthcare, warned the public against skin bleaching products, saying they are harmful and dangerous to their skins.
Laboratory tests done on samples of these products found more than permissible levels of hydroquinone, he said.
He also warned traders against the importation and sale of substandard products.
The affected products are mainly imported.
The issue of substandard skin bleaching products, which are especially popular with women and girls in the central African country, has been in the news since last week after Rwandan President Paul Kagame said the use of prohibited chemicals was "quite unhealthy."
The Rwandan police said Thursday that a recent joint operation by the Rwandan authorities have seized more than 5,000 assorted substandard bleaching products from beauty shops in different parts of the country, such as body oils, lotions, and toilet soaps.