Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Tetra calcium chloride banned in South America

Tetra Technologies Inc. said it has stopped selling calcium chloride in South America after it was revealed traffickers had been acquiring it in Peru and illegally smuggling it in huge quantities. Multi-ton seizures of calcium chloride packed in Tetra’s factory bags at cocaine labs was common.
Smugglers described Tetra as the brand of choice for cocaine chemists. Calcium chloride has many legal uses. It is a premium salt used for ice control, road stabilization, dust suppression, and in oilfield applications. It is an excellent desiccant for removing dissolved water in liquids. In 2013 Colombian and Bolivian cops noticed a surge in the use of the chemical in cocaine labs. Chemists use it to recycle and recover solvents that are more tightly controlled. Quimicos Goicochea, Tetra’s authorized distributor in Peru, said it has complied with the law, and has no control over how third parties use its products. The DoJ say ceasing sales is a smart corporate move. US chemical companies could be in legal jeopardy.