Dominican Republic bans sale of dangerous drain-cleaners increasingly used in acid attacks
Associated Press 09/22/10 4:30 PM EDT
SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — Authorities on Wednesday banned the commercial sale of some highly acidic drain-unclogging products that officials say are increasingly being used in assaults, causing severe burns and even death.
In late August, an 8-month-old baby and her 19-year-old mother died after her partner allegedly doused them with a drain-clearing chemical.
Nearly 4,000 people have been treated for serious burns from such products in the last two decades, and the number of cases is increasing, said Dr. Carlos de los Santos, burn unit director of the Luis E. Aybar Hospital in Santo Domingo.
An additional 33,000 people have been treated for moderate burns, De los Santos said.
It was not clear how many of the cases were from attacks and how many from accidents.
Five teenagers were recently accused of killing seven taxi drivers by forcing them to drink a drain liquid and then pouring it on their bodies to make identification difficult.
The ban covers products based on sulfuric, nitric or hydrochloric acid, including several that are popularly called "devil's acid.
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