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NAFDAC warns against indiscriminate use of pesticides



THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has admonished Nigerians against the indiscriminate use of pesticides to eliminate insects in their homes.

  The agency’s Director-General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, gave the warning in a statement issued in Abuja, recently.

  The NAFDAC boss particularly mentioned a chemical known as Toptoxin fumigation tablets which contains Aluminum Phosphate commonly used as household insecticides that could cause severe injuries and untimely death.

  She said Toptoxin fumigation tablets were applied as agrochemical to control insects and rodents in stores grains, advised members of the public to strictly follow the direction for use on the package label of the fumigation tablets to avoid the danger associated with them when wrongly applied. The fumigation tablets are most dropped in the ceilings of the house so that when heated by the sun, the creatures are driven away or killed.

  Consequently, the effect of the chemical filtered down to imperil the household.

  It is common knowledge that many Nigerians apply all manner of chemical substances to kill or ward off insects like mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants, bedbugs and other creatures like scorpions, wall geckos, lizards and snakes.  

  The common insecticide sprays are believed to be less effective though expensive hence the recourse to lethal chemical substances like sniper and locally produced “otapiapia”.

  Only recently, the social media was awash with the news of a family that spread the fumigation tablets in their rooms and retired to bed. The entire household except the head of the family survive the effect of the exercise.

  Besides sudden death arising from contact with the harmful chemicals, careless and repeated exposure to pesticides, even in small doses, has been linked to a number of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, sterility, and developmental disorders. Chronic exposure to pesticides can also lead to genetic changes and serious nerve disorders. Some findings have even linked pesticides as one of the causative factors for asthma, depression and anxiety.

  Studies have also shown that some pesticides contain chemicals that can be especially damaging because they interfere with our hormones and hormonal balance.  

  Over a period of time, even low concentrations of these chemicals can cause obesity, diabetes, thyroid tumours, decreased fertility, uterus abnormalities and early puberty as well as neurological issues such as loss of memory and coordination, visual impairment, mood instability and reduced motor skills. Nausea and vomiting.

  Others include diarrhoea, loss of consciousness, seizures, coughing/and sore throat and extreme weakness.

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