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EcoWaste urges government to ban silver cleaners from market

MANILA, Philippines - Environmental groups have urged the government to remove from the market silver cleaners containing cyanide and other toxic chemicals.

In a letter sent to Environmental Management Bureau Director Juan Miguel Cuna, the EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) sought to eliminate silver cleaners from the market because of numerous incidences of cyanide poisoning.

“Silver cleaners containing sodium or potassium cyanide salts and other toxic substances continue to cause preventable mortalities among young children who mistake them for water, and adults who purposely drink them to commit suicide,” said retired chemist Sonia Mendoza, chair of MEF.

An advisory issued by the Department of Health (DOH) last month said cyanide found in most silver cleaning solutions is classified as poisonous and can cause serious injury and even death.

“Cyanide is rapidly absorbed in the body and blocks utilization of oxygen in all organs,” the advisory said. “Poisoning with silver jewelry cleaner is a life-threatening condition and should be treated in the hospital as a medical emergency.”

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