EcoWaste Coalition Urges Government to Convene Inter-Agency Committee to Craft Policy Regulating Oxalic Acid (Toxics Watchdog Renews Call to Prohibit the Sale of Repacked Oxalic Acid on Streets)

government must act fast to prevent more cases of oxalic acid poisoning that had
so far claimed the lives of four people this year.
The EcoWaste Coalition pleaded for the strict regulation of oxalic acid that
will specifically ban its unregulated repacking for retail on streets and public
markets, as well as its unchecked use for non-industrial applications.
The Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory on Tuesday confirmed oxalic
acid poisoning as the cause of death of Jose Maria and Juliet Escano who died
last July 9 based on the analysis of the contents of the victims’ stomachs.
Police toxicology experts also blamed oxalic acid for the death of milk tea
shop owner William Abrigo and customer Suzaine Dagohoy last April 9.
“These fatal poisoning cases due to the ingestion of oxalic acid should serve
as a wake-up call to government regulators at both national and local levels to
act with lightning speed before this poison claims another life,” said Thony
Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
To address this issue at the national level, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the
government to convene the Inter-Agency Committee on Environment Health,
particularly its sector on toxic and hazardous substances, which is tasked to “formulate
policies, promulgate guidelines and develop programs for environmental health
Urgently convening IACEH after these tragic oxalic acid poisoning cases will support
the country’s “National Chemical Safety and Toxicology Policy” as provided for
under Department of Health Administrative Order 2013-009, the group pointed
At the local level, the group urged municipal and city councils to enact
ordinances that will prohibit and penalize the unauthorized distribution and sale
of repacked oxalic acid in line with the general welfare clause of the Local
Government Code, which empowers local government units to adopt measures that
will, among other things, “promote health and safety.”
As per its material safety data sheet (MSDS) , oxalic acid is very corrosive to
the human body and may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the
According to the PNP, “about 10 µg/mL (micrograms per milliliter) of oxalic
acid is considered (a) dangerous amount.” 
“The average human body contains approximately four liters of blood. Therefore,
it will only take about 40 mg of oxalic acid to poison a human body which can
potentially lead to a person’s death,” the PNP said.