Amazon pulls skin-lightening products off site amid pushback

U.S. & World

In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 photo, from left, Mary Blitzer, of the Sierra Club, gives a petition of over 23,000 signatures to Amira Adawe of the Beautywell Project as they deliver it to the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Shakopee, Minn. The two non-profit groups launched a campaign for Amazon and E-bay to stop selling toxic skin-lightening creams that contain mercury. (Christine T. Nguyen /Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Amazon has pulled more than a dozen skin-lightening products with dangerous mercury levels off its website after pushback from Minnesota public-health and environmental activists.

The Seattle-based company’s change came after the BeautyWell Project and the Sierra Club’s state branch delivered a petition on Wednesday with over 23,000 signatures to Amazon’s fulfillment center in Shakopee.

That day, the two organizations also took out a full-page ad in a local newspaper demanding that Amazon stop selling toxic skin-lightening creams. The ad had three words in bold print — “Dangerous, racist, and illegal.”

An Amazon spokesperson told Minnesota Public Radio News in an email Thursday that such products are “no longer available.”

As of Thursday, all but one of the 15 products with high mercury levels appeared to be removed from Amazon’s website.


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