Partially labelled silver jewelry cleaner.
The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watch group, urged mayors and local health and police chiefs to crack down on vendors of silver jewelry cleaners containing the deadly cyanide compound.
The group’s plea for action came on the heels of a recent public health warning from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) against three brands of cyanide-laden silver cleaning products.
The FDA on August 16 warned the public against buying, using and storing Silver Sparkle Flat Silver Dip, Unisilver Silver Dip and Cleanse Silver (Copper) Cleaner “as these pose imminent hazards and danger to both human and animal health” due their cyanide content.
“All local government units and law enforcement agencies are requested to ensure that the above-mentioned brands are not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction,” the FDA Advisory 2016-088 said.
“We ask our local government, health and police officials to heed FDA’s request and promptly launch joint law enforcement operations to rid the marketplace of cyanide-laced silver cleaning solutions,” stated Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“Any delay in responding to the FDA’s request will mean more consumers having access to this poison that had already fatally harmed many people, including innocent children who mistook the clear liquid for drinking water,” he added.
Yesterday, August 20, the EcoWaste Coalition went to the same silver jewelry shops in a shopping mall in Quiapo, Manila where the FDA got the said silver cleaning products and managed to buy Silver Sparkle Flat Silver Dip for P55 and Unisilver Silver Dip for P69. The latter is even offered free of charge for every P500 worth of purchase in single receipt.
In addition, the group also bought a totally unlabelled silver cleaner for P60 from a beads and accessories store in Villalobos St. It also obtained a partially labeled silver cleaner for P80 from a silver jewelry store in Carriedo St.
“We request Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to go after the stores selling these highly toxic products and revoke their business permit outright to show that he means business when it comes to protecting the public health and safety from cyanide poisoning,” Dizon said.
According to the FDA, “cyanide is classified as poisonous which can be rapidly absorbed by the body through inhalation, ingestion and dermal absorption.”
“It blocks utilization of oxygen in all organs and (is) liable to cause serious injury to human health that may lead to acute poisoning or death,” explained the FDA.
Responding to the rising number of cyanide poisoning cases due to the accidental as well as deliberate intake of silver cleaning products, the government issued Joint DOH-DENR Advisory 2010-0001 banning the sale of silver jewelry cleaners containing cyanide and other toxic substances.