Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Poisonous silver cleaners easily found in MM stores

Silver cleaners, apparently the preferred poison of Filipinos committing suicide is still easily found in Metro Manila stores despite the ban on the agent.

Alarmed by the suicide trend involving the jewelry cleaner, environmental group Ecowaste Coalition said the cleaner containing the toxic chemical cyanide is still sold in seven malls in Metro Manila, some in unlabelled containers. Ecowaste noted that cyanide can kill instantly even in small amounts.

“We find it alarming that despite a joint ban from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), unlabelled and unregistered silver jewelry cleaners are so easily available to anyone with the cash to buy them,” said Thony Dizon of Ecowaste.

The University of the Philippines-National Poison Management and Poison Control Center said silver cleaner is among the top three toxicants found in patients admitted in the Philippine General Hospital and the East Avenue Medical Center Poison Control Unit. It is also the third agent most commonly swallowed by children.

Last July, a one-year-old child died of silver cleaner poisoning.

“Government regulators should exercise utmost vigilance in enforcing strict compliance of the ban on death-causing jewelry cleaners,” said Ecowaste secretary Dr. Leah Primitiva Samaco-Paquiz.


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