EcoWaste Coalition Reveals Illegal Sale of Unregistered Silver Jewelry Cleaners in Manila

An environmental watchdog has expressed
serious concern over the unlawful sale of unregistered silver jewelry cleaning
solutions in Manila that could be laced with cyanide, a highly toxic chemical.
The EcoWaste Coalition, an advocate for zero waste and
toxics-free society, revealed that such illegal trade goes unabated despite
official policy banning the sale of silver cleaning agents not registered with
the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
Under the Joint Department of Health – Department of
Environment and Natural Resources Advisory 2010-001, unregistered silver
cleaners containing cyanide and other harmful substances are a “threat to
health and safety,” necessitating “the strict prohibition on their sale in the
“Our latest market surveillance shows that some retailers
continue to defy the law, raising the specter of cyanide poisoning either due
to accidental or intentional exposure via ingestion or inhalation,” said Thony
Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“Besides harming people, the disposal of cyanide-laced
wastewater into the sink can pollute and damage the marine environment,” he
Test buys conducted by the group on Saturday, April 11,
shows that silver jewelry cleaners with no market authorization from the FDA
are being sold by some retailers in Divisoria and Quiapo for P45 to P60 per
“While most jewelry shops in Quiapo had stopped selling
liquid silver cleaner in compliance with the government’s directive, we managed
to procure samples of China-imported 60 ml ‘Hallo Gold & Silver Cleaner’ at
one popular accessories, beads and gifts store in Villalobos St., Quiapo,”
Dizon said. 
“The said product had no information about its
manufacturer, chemical composition and market registration with the FDA if
any,” he pointed out.
“We also found a street vendor in Divisoria selling
silver jewelry items with potentially toxic cleaners on the side,” he added.
In the interest of public health and environmental
safety, the EcoWaste Coalition asked non-compliant retailers to voluntary
desist from selling unauthorized silver jewelry cleaners.
It also requested consumers to shun unregistered silver
jewelry cleaning agents and opt for safer cleaning products and techniques that
will cause no harm to the public health and the environment.
It also suggested that concerned national and local
agencies conduct periodic market monitoring and engage in joint law enforcement
“Furthermore, we appeal to concerned individuals to
present themselves to the authorities if they have any useful information that
can help with the identification and prosecution of unscrupulous businessmen
behind the illegal trade of toxic silver jewelry cleaners,” Dizon said.
“This dangerous trade has to stop once and for all
for the health and safety of humans and the ecosystems,” he said.