Statement on the Board of Chemistry’s Issuance of Notices of Violation to Non-Complying Chemical Laboratories

6 NOVEMBER 2020 — The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines would like to inform the public that the Professional Regulatory Board of Chemistry (PRBOC) of the Professional Regulation Commission is stepping up its efforts to carry out its mandate to implement the Chemistry Profession Act (Republic Act No. 10657), in particular with respect to chemical laboratories, which states:

Section 39. Penal Clause for Chemical Laboratories and Related Firms. – No chemical laboratory or firm shall undertake activities covered by this Act without a valid authority to operate the same. The president or the highest ranking officer of the corporation shall be held liable for violations of this Act. Upon conviction, these persons shall be sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment for a period of not less than one (1) month but not more than one (1) year, or a fine of not less than one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than one million pesos (P1,000,000.00), or both, at the discretion of the court.

The PRBOC has started issuing notices of violation to chemical laboratories, which to date, more than 2 years after the end of the grace period provided by law (i.e., in 2018), have not yet applied for their certificate of authority to operate (CATO), and yet continue their operations.

Notices of denial of application are likewise being issued to chemical laboratories that continue their operations without a CATO. These are chemical laboratories which have applied for a CATO and have been inspected by the PRBOC but have not fully corrected their non-compliances more than a year after their agreed compliance dates.

Non-compliant laboratories are given 30 days to explain why they should not be cited for violation of Section 39 of RA No. 10657. Failure to respond will be deemed a waiver and the Board shall be constrained to take legal action against these chemical laboratories on the basis of available records. We encourage all affected laboratories to comply with the PRBOC directive.

Thank you.

On the Purchasing of Chemist Seals from Unauthorized Entities

(English Translation)

This is to inform the public that the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) is the only entity authorized by the Professional Regulation Commission to accept orders for the registered chemist seal. Registered chemists who wish to purchase their own chemist seal must place their orders only through the ICP.

The ICP calls on all registered chemists to abide by the Code of Ethics for the Chemistry Profession and NOT engage in the purchasing of chemist seals through unauthorized entities or illegal means.

(Pagsasalin sa Filipino)

Inaabisuhan ang lahat na ang Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) ang tanging pinagkalooban ng Professional Regulation Commission upang gumawa ng registered chemist seal. Ang mga registered chemist na nais kumuha at bumili ng kanilang chemist seal ay dapat makipag-ugnayan sa ICP.

Tinatawagan ng ICP ang lahat ng mga registered chemist na tumalima sa Code of Ethics for the Chemistry Profession at HUWAG bumili ng chemist seal mula sa hindi awtorisadong mga tao o sa ilegal na mga pamamaraan.

On the Use of Chemicals to Clean Face Masks and Other PPEs

(English Translation)

Official Statement of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) on the Use of Chemicals to Clean Face Masks and Other PPEs

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) wishes to advise the public to follow the manufacturer’s specification on the proper use and care of face masks. For washable cloth face masks, use detergent or soap and water.

The ICP does not recommend the use of gasoline or diesel to clean face masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE).

All grades of gasoline are considered hazardous with immediate (acute) and long-term (chronic) effects to health. Gasoline contains compounds, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene (BTEX) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are toxic and/or carcinogenic.

Gasoline is also a skin and eye irritant, may affect the central nervous system, and may be harmful or fatal if swallowed.

(Pagsasalin sa Filipino)

Opisyal na Pahayag ng ICP Tungkol sa Paggamit ng Mga Kemikal Sa Panlinis ng Mga Face Mask at Iba Pang Mga Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Ang Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) ay nais na magpayo sa publiko na sundin ang wastong paggamit at pangangalaga ng mga face mask ayon sa payo ng manufacturer. Para sa mga face mask na maaaring hugasan (washable face masks), gumamit lang ng sabon o sabong pandamit at tubig.

Hindi inirerekumenda ng ICP ang paggamit ng gasolina o diesel bilang panlinis ng mga face mask o iba pang personal protective equipment (PPE).

Ang lahat ng uri ng gasolina ay maituturing na mapanganib na nagdudulot ng masamang epekto sa kalusugan. Naglalaman ang gasolina ng mga sangkap tulad ng BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) at PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) na nakalalason at nagiging sanhi ng kanser.

Ang gasolina ay nagdudulot din ng pangangati ng balat at mata, at maaaring makaapekto sa central nervous system. Mapanganib at posibleng makamatay din ang mga ito kapag nalunok.

References / Mga Sanggunian:

1. OSHA MSDS (Gasoline)
2. UP National Poison Management and Control Center (https://www.facebook.com/upnpmcc/)
3. E Reese and R D Kimbrough, Acute toxicity of gasoline and some additives. Environ Health Perspect. 1993; 101(Suppl 6): 115–131.
4. Medical Management Guidelines for Gasoline, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, US Center for Disease Control (https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/MMG/MMG.asp?id=465&tid=83)

ICP Head Office Preventive Measures During the General Community Quarantine

Please be advised of the following measures that the ICP will be implementing at its head office in Mandaluyong City during the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting 1 June 2020:

• The online application for your ICP membership and online purchase of your chemist seal and other merchandise shall still continue. However, please expect a delay in the delivery of the membership card, chemist seal, or other merchandise especially to areas where strict movement orders are still in place.

• Due to physical distancing regulations, the picking up of your membership card and/or chemist seal, or claiming of unclaimed official receipts, certificates, and other relevant materials at the ICP head office is temporarily suspended. To facilitate the delivery of these items, contact Ms Julie Trinidad (ICP office secretary) at: integratedchemists@gmail.com, (02) 8635-3575, or (0907) 751 7121. Do note that the delivery fee for any of the aforementioned items will NOT be shouldered by the ICP.

• In case there will be events organized by the ICP, interested participants opting to pay directly at the ICP head office (whether by cash or check) will NOT be accommodated. To follow physical distancing regulations, payment to ICP events must be remitted through bank deposit or online transfer.

These measures shall be enforced until the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, or until the national government lifts the GCQ status over the National Capital Region. Thank you for your understanding.

On the Preparation of Disinfectants and Other Chemicals

(English Translation)

Official Statement of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) Regarding the Preparation of Disinfectants and Other Chemicals

Many individuals, including chemists, have taken the initiative to assist in COVID-19 efforts by preparing alcohol and other disinfectant products. While we support your initiative, we, as chemists, have a special responsibility to ensure that the solutions that we prepare meet the right specifications that ensure their efficacy and safety. In particular:

• Regarding ethanol and isopropanol: from analytical data that we have obtained by gas chromatography (GC), many of the technical grade ethanol and isopropanol products sold by chemical suppliers may contain high levels of methanol or are below the claimed concentration. You should obtain your alcohols from reliable sources only. If in doubt, have the raw material analyzed by GC or ask for a certificate of analysis.

• Hypochlorite is an industrial product and may contain impurities. It may be adulterated by unscrupulous dealers. There are standard methods of chemical analysis for hypochlorite. Also, ensure that your product is used to disinfect objects and is not used on people.

• Consult only reliable sources for technical information and observe restrictions set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant Philippine government agencies.

(Pagsasalin sa Filipino)

Opisyal na Pahayag ng ICP Tungkol sa Pagtimpla ng Mga Disinfectant at Iba Pang Produkto

May mga tao, kabilang ang ilang mga kimiko, na kusang umaalalay sa ilang mga pagsisikap upang labanan ang COVID-19 sa pamamagitan ng pagtimpla ng rubbing alcohol at iba pang produkto na makapupuksa ng mikrobyo. Habang sinusuportahan namin ang mga hangaring ito, kami, bilang mga kimiko, ay may natatanging tungkulin upang masiguro na ang tinitimpla naming mga produkto ay tugma sa itinakdang antas ng bisa at ligtas ring gamitin.

• Tungkol sa ethyl alcohol at isopropyl alcohol: Mula sa datos na nakalap namin gamit ang gas chromatography (GC), karamihan sa mga technical grade na ethanol at isopropanol na binebenta ng mga chemical supplier ay naglalaman ng mataas na antas ng methanol o kaya'y hindi man lang umabot sa isinaad na tapang. Upang maiwasan ito, siguruhing maaasahan ang inyong pagkukuhanan. Kung kaduda-duda ang iyong nabiling produkto, ipasuri ito gamit ang GC o humingi ng certificate of analysis.

• Ang hypochlorite ay isang kemikal na ginagamit sa industriya at maaaring naglalaman ito ng karumihan. Maaaring pang maglagay ng mga hindi kanais-nais na sangkap ang mga nagbebenta nito upang makalinlang. Mayroong mga tamang pamamaraan upang masuri ang kalidad ng hypochlorite. Siguruhin din na ang mga produktong naglalaman nito ay nakalaan lamang gamiting panlinis ng mga bagay, at hindi ng mga tao.

• Sumangguni lamang sa maaasahang mga pagkukunan ng impormasyon tungkol dito at sunding mabuti ang mga inilahad na utos ng WHO at mga angkop na ahensya ng pamahalaan.