Public Health Ministry warns Songkran revelers to use marlstone with care

Published on April 12, 2012 by TFP   ·   No Comments

BANGKOK, 12 April 2012 – Deputy Public Health Minister Dr. Surawit Konsomboon has warned Songkran celebrants to be careful when applying marlstone on the body as any contamination could lead to illnesses.

Marlstone or mudstone has been a staple of Songkran since ancient times. Besides the tradition of throwing water at one another, marlstone is often used to rub on other people’s faces as a gesture of respect and good hospitality, similar to how powder is used.

However, according to Dr. Surawit, when marlstone is mixed with paints, it could be contaminated with micro-organisms and germs, which could cause illnesses when it comes into contact with a human body.

The Department of Medical Science has been taking random samples of products that are made of marlstone since last year to keep the quality under control. 23 of them have been found to contain 12,000-27,000,000 colonies of micro-organisms per gram and 2.5-2.9 micrograms of cyanide per gram.

By law, cosmetic products must contain not more than 1,000 colonies of micro-organisms and not more than 2 micrograms of cyanide to be considered safe for consumers. Dr. Surawit said since marlstone is found in nature, its quality cannot be determined by visual inspection. However, he emphasized the importance of the production process to maintain its safety.

Contaminated marlstone, often reported to have components of heavy metals in addition to micro-organisms, could cause severe inflammation if absorbed through wounds or bring about symptoms similar to food poisoning within 8-22 hours if eaten.



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