Nov 28 2012 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
THE director of a Harlesden beauty parlour was hauled in front of magistrates last week after selling bleaching products known to increase the risk of skin cancer.
Sharafat Hussain, of Shaba Hair and Cosmetics, admitted supplying skin lightening creams which contained hydroquinone, a skin bleaching ingredient that has been banned in the EU since 2001 because it has been found to significantly increase the risk of skin cancer by reducing the production of melanin pigments.
The court heard how the investigation arose from a complaint from the husband of a consumer who had purchased skin lightening cream from the defendant’s shop in High Street, Harlesden, and had then seen a television programme concerning safety issues with products containing hydroquinone.
Brent and Harrow Trading Standards carried out a test purchase and then a full inspection of the Harlesden shop where they seized a large number of skin lightening creams containing the ingredient, as well as other products which, were found to be those that should only be sold on prescription by a pharmacist.
The investigation widened and Trading Standards officers at Enfield Council discovered similar products for sale at the defendants shop at in London E9. A total of 3,600 items were seized from both shops.
Hussain, 32, of Ilford, Essex, attended an interview with Trading Standards officers from both Brent and Enfield Councils and he stated that although he had worked in the trade for 10 years and did not know that hydroquinone was banned. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,375 at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday last week. Shaba Hair and Cosmetics Ltd was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,375 to Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service and all the seized goods were ordered to be forfeited.
* At the same court on the same day, Aloysius Bernard, 59, of Barn Rise, Wembley, admitted a can of lager was sold to a 14-year-old boy at his Cedars Liquor Store in Manor Park Road, Harlesden.
The court heard that under instruction from Trading Standards officers, a child volunteer was able to buy alcohol from the defendant’s shop completely unchallenged by his employee who served him. Bernard was fined £175 and ordered to pay prosecution costs to Brent Council of £1,095.