Manila Police Lauded for Stopping Illegal Sale of Banned Silver Jewelry Cleaner

The Philippine National Police (PNP) drew applause from environmental and health advocates for their speedy action to stop the illegal sale of poisonous silver jewelry cleaning products.

The EcoWaste Coalition lauded Police Superintendent James Afalla, Station Commander of Central Market Sta. Cruz Police Station, for acting upon the group’s request for law enforcement action against shops and vendors selling banned silver jewerly cleaner.

“We commend the PNP, particularly Police Station 3 of Manila, for their swift action against illegal silver cleaning products that pose a direct assault to public health and safety. Sustained police action is key to saving lives from this toxic threat,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

Last Tuesday, Police Superintendent Afalla and members of Police Station 3 swooped down on Carriedo and Villalobos Streets in Quiapo and, pursuant to the Joint DOH-DENR Advisory 2010-001, confiscated 18 pieces of unregistered silver jewely cleaner.

The Joint Advisory signed by Health Secretary Enrique Ona and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje prohibits the sale of unregistered and unlabelled silver jewelry cleaner containing toxic substances, including cyanide, a deadly poison.

The items seized mostly from silver jewelry shops were subsequently turned over to the evidence custodian of Police Station 3 for proper disposition.

“They were educated about the effects of silver cleaner to human health. Likewise, we distributed copies of the aforesaid law for reiteration and for widest dissemination,” wrote Police Superintendent Afalla to the EcoWaste Coalition.

In his letter, Police Superintendent Capalla also affirmed continuing police action to safeguard the public from toxic harm linked to silver cleaner.

“Rest assured that this Police Station supports your campaign for the implementation of the DOH-DENR advisory and will continue to conduct extensive police operations to rid the market of banned silver jewelry cleaners,” he said.

The EcoWaste Coalition had earlier appealed to PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo for police action to halt the injuries and deaths arising from the accidental or suicidal intake of banned silver jewelry cleaning agent.

Manufacturers and distributors of silver jewelry cleaning agents, which fall under the category of “household hazardous substance,” are required by law to register their products with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before these can be lawfully sold in the market.

According to a list obtained by the EcoWaste Coalition from the FDA last February 22, 2011, only the following brands of “stainless/metal polish” are duly registered with the agency: 3M , Kiwi, Pledge, Primo, Suma Silver D8 Liquid Cleaner, Suma Stainless Steel Polish (for professional use only) and Activ M1 Instant Acid Silver Destainer (for industrial use only).