Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, along with other local government
and police officials, to go after the producers and vendors of deadly cyanide-laced
silver jewelry cleaning products.
This developed as the group went to Binondo, Manila yesterday to condole with
the family of a 15-year old mother of a two-month old baby boy who took her own
life last Saturday by drinking the fatal cleaning solution.
“The number of cyanide poisoning deaths due to intentional and unintentional
consumption of silver jewelry cleaner continues to climb,” lamented Thony
Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
From January to May 2013 alone, the EcoWaste Coalition monitored nine reported
cases of suicidal ingestion of silver cleaner from the cities of Manila,
Navotas and Pasay that included three teenage female fatalities.
Acute poisoning occurs when the cyanide content of the cleaning liquid is
absorbed by the body via ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption, blocking the
utilization of oxygen at the cell, tissue and organ levels and causing death.
The Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) in September 2010 released a joint advisory banning the sale
of silver jewelry cleaners containing cyanide and other toxic substances, as
well as their importation, manufacturing, distribution and sale without product
registration and labeling, but to no avail.
“The DOH-DENR advisory banning silver jewelry cleaner with cyanide is obviously
inadequate in preventing such tragic deaths. Now more than ever, we need a
stronger policy involving other agencies such as the DILG and one that has
teeth to break the nasty supply chain and put the culprits behind bars,” noted
“Secretary Roxas and the entire DILG machinery should be in the forefront in
this fight against a toxic menace that has already taken so many lives,”
Newly elected city and municipal councilors should waste no time in drafting
and filing ordinances that will impose severe fines and penalties to violators
of the ban on toxic silver jewelry cleaner, the EcoWaste Coalition suggested.
It added that such ordinances to be effective should require information
activities targeting businesses and consumers, and incorporate strong
compliance monitoring, enforcement and penalty provisions.
Even if local ordinances are not yet in place, the LGUs should immediately take
action in line with their responsibility to protect the public health and
welfare under the Local Government Code and the Constitution, the EcoWaste
Advisory on “Ban on Silver Cleaning Solution Containing Cyanide and other Toxic
Substances,” September 2010:
Advisory on Silver Jewelry Cleaners,” July 2010:
Guzman, 16, Sta. Cruz, Manila
2. Jacinto de
Guzman, 38, Sta. Cruz, Manila
27, Navotas City
Aure, 26, Navotas City
“Puti,” 20-25, Tondo, Manila
33, Tondo, Manila
24, Pasay City
Tejada, 16, Tondo, Manila
(“Nene” is only
15 at the time of her death. She’s from Binondo, not Tondo, as reported in some