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Chain store removes acid from shelves

Katie Coyne23/08/2017 - 16:50

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Dyas removes chemical from its shelves
Dyas removes chemical from its shelves

High strength sulphuric acid has been removed from the shelves of a major chain store and is now being sold from behind the counter.

There is a growing concern that high strength chemicals such as these are being used in a spate of ‘acid attacks’ although the chemicals used can also be strong alkalis.

The Government is carrying out a review into the issues surrounding the use of strong chemicals as weapons.

Rhino Drain Unblocker was sold freely throughout the Robert Dyas chain on the bottom rack of shelves, easily accessible to even children.

However, following an intervention from an EHO officer who wrote to the store querying this treatment of the product the store has made a change.

The store sent the following response to EHO and former police officer Mr Philip Harris: ‘Although we are unaware of any current law changes, we do understand that this is currently being discussed by our government. 

‘Following this we have made the decision as a company to change the ways that our acidic products are displayed.

‘Our trading team will continue to monitor any policy or law changes related to this.’

Mr Harris, did not receive a reply to his initial email and was first alerted to the change in policy in selling the high strength product when he visited a store. He then visited several more and spoke to the store managers. 

He said: ‘I can’t say they took them off the shelves thanks to me but I did email them about the bottles being on the bottom shelf and suggested they should be moved.’

A spokesperson from Robert Dyas said: ‘At Robert Dyas, we are continuing to work closely with the BRC and the Home Office.   This product has had further purchase restrictions placed upon it but is still available to our customers in store, once they have gone through the increased checks and measures.’

Mr Harris explained that while there are still lots of chemicals available on the shelves across the Robert Dyas stores and many other stores also, the issue with the Rhino Drain Unblocker was its strength. 

‘That was the most potent one,’ said Mr Harris.


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