PHILIPPINES: Couple died from oxalic acid poisoning

Couple died, found unconscious inside their vehicle in Las Piñas positive of poisoning.

After thorough investigation, couple who found dead inside their vehicle positive from oxalic acid poisoning. It is an organic compound, colorless crystalline solid that forms a colorless solution in water. An excessive ingestion of this compound or even prolonged skin contact can be very dangerous.

Last 9 July 2015, authorities believed that couples had committed suicide, however, it was found out that death was due to poisoning from ingestion of oxalic acid after result confirmed by PNP Crime Laboratory. A concentrated substance that is very harmful if taken by humans, which somehow may cause sudden death.

In statement of Police Sr. Supt. Elmer Catabay, spokesperson of the PNP Crime Laboratory, the bodies of Jose Maria Escano and Juliet Escano, both 51 years old, tested positive for oxalic acid, according to the results of the toxicology examination, August 6, 2015. They were seen in through a CCTV footage, parked their vehicle at mall in Las Pinas, Jose Escano seen step down from the driver’s side, walking towards and suddenly collapsed.

It was also the substance found in poisoning of two people in Sampaloc, Manila, last April who just drink a milk tea. EcoWaste Coalition said in a statement, “This is the same toxic compound found on the remains of the Ergo Cha milk tea poisoning victims. As direct intoxication with oxalic acid can kill, we cannot help but ask why this deadly substance is still openly peddled on the streets.”

Oxalic acid is known to be used as bleach for wood, removing black stains caused by water penetration. To clean iron and manganese deposits from quartz crystals and removal of rust and even in baking powder. About 25% of produced oxalic acid is used as a mordant in dyeing processes. It is harmful if inhaled and swallowed by humans, it also causes burns if absorbed through the skin or is in contact with the eyes. IMAGE/ECOWASTECOALITION

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