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Poisoning a Society with Cyanide and Not Knowing


Jewelers of Kerala are always using gold-cyanide solutions for coloring red gild to make it yellow in color. problem I found is

1 many of this ornaments has got small hollow balls and it is porous because of the speed manufacturing.

2 after cyanide coloring they wash it in fresh water and dry it in dry cloth the ornament is ready for sale.

3 many jewelries which I examined is having greenish gray color in some of this small balls on closer examination I found the liquid trapped inside the balls comes out when it drys in the counter when rubbed with a cloth it goes partly.

4 I feel it is very dangerous to the humans.

5 the problem is nobody knows how to give yellow color to gold without using cyanide.

6 The waste water they pour out carelessly to the canals.

Tomy Joseph
- Cherthala/Kerala/India.

I'm not real sure what you would like from this community. Here in the US, much of what you describe is illegal. Perhaps you have an equivalent of the EPA in India. I do not know of any way to electroplate or electroless plate gold that does not use cyanide.

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida


Tomy, it may be that you know more about this problem than anyone else in that society. If there is no other safe chemical to replace cyanide, do social workers and news media in the area to know about it and not just the rest of the world? As I see it, we cannot just eliminate cyanide (and their livelihood) but these people need training in personal and social safety.

Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado


Dear Mr. Tomy Joseph,

You have probably discovered one of the misuses of Cyanide by India's unorganised cottage industry sector, to whom no legislation or laws apply because they are actually protected by Gov't laws, on account of being in the 'backward' sectors of Society and Industry here.

Did you know that jewelers go door to door to peoples houses with GP-cyanide solutions carried in jars and clean their jewelry in peoples living rooms using GPC ? (That they dissolve gold away is another matter). And this is not confined to backwaters of Kerala, but happens in every Metropolitan City in India. Agra is the most visited tourist destination in India, and unfortunately also the most polluted. 80% of India's Silver ornaments are made here, and 20% in Salem nearby to you. Almost all the jewelry manufacturers in Agra and Salem have Silver plating plants, and you guess how many treat their SPC containing effluents. In Bombay the imitation jewelry Industry has switched to Electrophoretic lacquer in a big way and very little of actual Gold plating is done using real gold now.

So whenever you can, do a little bit of good for the fish in Kerala and educate the chaps who have been in this trade for generations together and have been living dangerously till date.

Khozem Vahaanwala
Khozem Vahaanwala
Saify Ind
supporting advertiser
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
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Dear John,

We Ahmedabadians are facing the same problem. By occupation I am chemical Engineer and we friends are working against industrial pollution. So can you give me the Additional information regarding use of G.P.C OR Silver Cyanide (AgCN)? SInce I think the cyanide can be substituted by the other elements of the same group...

Ankit Doshi
- Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

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