Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Curbs set on cyanide-laced jewelry cleaners

GOVERNMENT agencies led by the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources finally listened to the clamor of civil society to implement
stricter measures on the sale of highly poisonous silver cleaners
containing cyanide and other toxic chemicals in the market to avoid
deaths from cyanide poisoning.

In a multi-sectoral consultative meeting, it was agreed that the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Bureau of Trade
Regulations and Consumer Protection, will ban the sale of
cyanide-laced silver jewelry cleaners in the market that have not been
duly tested, registered, and labeled cyanide-free.

The DTI will tap retailer or supermarket associations to do the same
in their outlets.

The DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards will also review the possibility
of subjecting silver jewelry cleaners to its Philippine Standard (PS)
certification scheme.

The Department of Health, through its Food and Drug Administration,
will include a registration for jewelry cleaners that do not contain

The agencies also agreed to implement a stricter monitoring system for
permits and clearances of facility owners, as well as the sale of
cleaners that have not been duly tested, registered, and certified

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said that as early as 1997, the DENR
issued Administrative Order No. 39 or the Chemical Control Order (CCO)
for cyanide and cyanide compounds.

Under the order, the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) is
tasked to control the industrial importation, handling, use,
distribution, and disposal of cyanide and cyanide compounds.


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