Feet dragging over radioactive pendants


The Ministry of Health has finally and very belatedly come out with an announcement that the Quantum Pendant (Fusionexcel) and SE Pendant (Cosway) are highly radioactive and must be banned by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB). This announcement was made by the Minister of Health who said the matter had been discussed in the Cabinet last Friday.

But the AELB is not in favour of banning these pendants and prohibiting their import and sale in Malaysia. A few days earlier the Executive Secretary of the AELB Raja Dato’ Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, made a press statement that tests carried out on the pendants had shown them to contain levels of Thorium-232 and Uranium-238 between 6 to 17 times higher than permissible. He suggested that the importers and sellers should include a note with the pendants to warn about the danger.

This is protecting the interests of the importers and distributors and not the health of the people. May we remind the AELB that its responsibility is to the people, not to the business concerns. Healthy people are an asset of the nation. If people suffer ill effects from the use of the pendants, the government will have to spend money on their medical care.

When CAP highlighted the very same findings of the AELB in September last year, and called for the ban as recommended, also by the AELB Board, to be enforced immediately, the Executive Secretary, who is also concurrently Director General of the AELB, had refuted making any such recommendation.

CAP had first raised this matter with the Ministry of Health on 04 June 2010 and with the AELB on 21 July 2010. The AELB carried out tests and informed us of the results on 26 Mei 2011 (about 10 months later) that the radioactive content of the pendants was way beyond safety levels.

The AELB Board which met on 30 January 2012 had decided that the use of these pendants should be banned. Ministry of Health representatives on the Board had also confirmed there were no health benefits from the wearing of these pendants as claimed by the suppliers. The Board had also agreed that a press statement should be made regarding the ban on the use of the pendants. So why the feet dragging?

The AELB’s handling of this issue is very unprofessional. Not only has it taken 3 years to admit that the pendants contain high levels of radiation, are unsafe to wear and have no health benefits as claimed, it has no intention to ban the importation and sale of the pendants.

The pendants are an unsafe product and must be treated as such. We therefore call upon the Cabinet to direct the AELB to ban this unsafe product immediately and ask consumers who have purchased them to surrender them to the AELB for proper disposal. People’s health must be given priority.

Press Statement, 16 July 2013