Campaign launched to reduce pesticide poisoning

The lack of awareness and misuse may result in poisoning or death

18:41 November 19, 2012

Dubai: Dubai Municipality on Monday warned against the consequences of using pesticides in houses without the proper supervision of concerned authorities.

The announcement was made in the context of increasing pesticides poisoning cases reported in the emirate of Dubai recently to the Public Health Pest Control Section at Dubai Municipality.

Eng Hisham Abdul Rahman Al Yahya, Head of Public Health Pest Control Section, said that it is dangerous to use toxic pesticides and specifically Aluminium phosphide in homes for the control of bed bug, “When this pesticide comes in contact with warmth and moisture it releases a highly toxic phosphine gas.”

The lack of awareness and misuse may result in poisoning or death.

It has been recorded for consumers to obtain Aluminium phosphide, which is usually in the form of grey colour tablets from illegal sellers, which are neither licensed nor qualified to sell or use this product.

This type of product is packed in cheap plastic bags with no warning labels on them.

Zuhoor Hussain Al Sabbagh, Director of Public Health Services Department, stated that the article (37) in the Local Order No 11 for the year 2003, concerning public health and community safety in the emirate of Dubai, clearly prohibits importing, handling and trading of pesticides without permission from the competent authority.

In addition, the pesticides should comply with the specifications approved by the municipality, in accordance with the health and environmental standards and technical requirements for the handling of such pesticides and the prevention of risks.

The Aluminium phosphide has been registered by the Ministry of Water and Environment for use in specific areas only by licensed specialists.

“The Public Health Services Department then prepares and executes health educational programmes designed to raise awareness on the importance factors and wrong practices carried out by bachelors and families who want to prevent the spread of rodents, bed bugs, flies, cockroaches and other insects in and around at home,” said Al Sabbagh.

The educational programmes also concentrates on precautions taken to prevent the spread of pests in the home and it informs people not to buy pesticides from illegal sellers and not to use pesticides at home by themselves.