EcoWaste Coalition Urges Manila City Government to Ban Street Sale of Deadly Oxalic Powder

police confirmation that oxalic acid caused the death of milk tea shop owner of
William Abrigo and customer Suzaine Dagohoy last April 9, a toxics watchdog
urged the Manila City government to prohibit the sale of the deadly substance on
the street.
The EcoWaste Coalition has reported that oxalic powder  is sold by street vendors at Ylaya St. in
Divisoria for less than P100 per kilo.
“Oxalic acid, as far as we know, is allowed for industrial applications and should
not be sold to  unauthorized users and
much more sold on the streets by ambulant vendors,” said Thony Dizon,
Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“The white Oxalic powdery substance looks similar to iodized salt or refined
sugar that food preparers can use by mistake, especially if improperly stored,”
he said.   

Dizon recalled
that in 2011 two pupils of Larion Bajo Elementary School in Tuguegarao City
were killed and 44 others were hospitalized due to oxalic-related food
As reported by
the police and the media, kindergarten pupils Eloisa Ballad and Jessica May
Bangayan died after eating “miki” noodles in the school canteen that was erroneously
“salted” with oxalic  powder by the
teacher who prepared it.
Citing online
material safety data sheet (MSDS) of oxalic acid, the EcoWaste Coalition said
that the substance is very corrosive to the human body and may be fatal if
inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin.
“Inhalation of
dust or mist may cause irritation or burns to upper respiratory system, nose,
mouth or throat. Ingestion may cause irritation or burns to mouth throat or
stomach. Contact with skin or eyes may cause irritation or burns,” the MSDS
Water is added to oxalic powder to create the acid used for bleaching and for
removing rusts and stains.

Reference: Oxalic
acid MSDS: http://www.sciencestuff.com/msds/C2193.html