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Killer cream identified

OFFICIALS have confirmed that the cream that killed a 23-year-old woman last week belonged to the Vietnam-based Bao Dam line of skin-whitening products, the director of the Banteay Meanchey health department office in Poipet town said Thursday.

Dr Le Nin also said officials had found the product being sold in one shop in Poipet, but he added that officials have not closed the shop.
Chhuon Sovann, 23, began vomiting after she started using the skin-whitening cream on March 2, and died on Sunday after she had fallen unconscious in a Thai hospital, her family members said.

The death of Chhuon Sovann came less than one week after Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Health Ministry to strictly monitor the use of beauty protects containing toxic chemicals. The director of the provincial health department said earlier this week that officials were likely to temporarily close all shops selling skin-whitening creams.

The director, Chhum Sovannrith, said Thursday that he would send a report to the Ministry of Health before deciding whether to close the shop.

The Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday that Bao Dam products had previously been found to contain mercury and had been banned in Thailand.

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