CHINA BANS UNLICENSED COSMETICS
A middle-aged Chinese man who tried to dye his graying hair black went completely white instead when he used a product from one of the country's hundreds of unlicensed cosmetic factories, the China Daily said.The face of a 20-year-old woman who used a freckle-removing cream became so blistered that she had to spend four days in a hospital, according to the newspaper. Beginning in January, Chinese authorities will ban unlicensed cosmetics made by factories with substandard sanitation and equipment. The ban was decided on "in the wake of numerous disturbing reports of faulty cosmetics causing physical injury and psychological trauma to their users." In one three-month period in 1988, hospitals in Guizhou Province in the southwest treated 220 people whose faces were burned by cosmetics, the paper said. Only 61 percent of cosmetic factories in 23 municipalities, provinces, and regions met state standards and were granted licences over the past 12 months, it said. China has more than 2,000 cosmetics factories, which have sprung up to cash in on a boom in beauty care after decades of communist blandness. From January, the products of unlicensed factories will be banned, as will foreign products not approved by the ministry of public health.