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Acid Attack Aftermath

Monday, November 08, 2010


In a victory for both women's efforts to raise awareness about acid attacks, the City Council's Finance Committee recommended an ordinance that would increase the minimum fines tenfold -- to $500 from $50 -- for people found to be in possession of caustic substances, including sulfuric acid. The maximum fine would rise to $1,500 from $200.

"It feels great," said Medina, whose two adult attackers were each sentenced last week to more than 40 years in prison for heinous battery. The city's municipal code already bans the possession of sulfuric acid by the general public, including individuals outside of manufacturing, medicine or science.

The measure's sponsor, Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, the powerful Finance Committee chairman, said he expected to bring the matter before the entire City Council on Wednesday. He said he planned to include language establishing a registry that would further restrict the sale of products such as industrial-strength drain cleaners, which can contain high levels of sulfuric acid. State Rep. Susana Mendoza, D- Chicago, who also spoke at the hearing, said she planned to bring similar measures on the state level.

But Tanya Triche, senior counsel for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said the organization was concerned that the measure may impede members who sell cleaners, rust removers or car batteries.

"We sell products that are used every day either for commercial activity or for the home that contain sulfuric acid," Triche said.

Mendoza acknowledged that there were limits to the proposal. "We're not going to ban people from buying (car) batteries," she said.


LINK TO FACEBOOK GROUP for Acid Attach Survivors, created by Karli Butler.