Deadly chem­i­cals still inuse

Pest firms caught us­ing banned sub­stance in homes de­spite deaths

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu

Pest con­trol firms are still spray­ing UAE homes with banned chem­i­cals that have been re­spon­si­ble for a num­ber of deaths in re­cent years.

This week, au­thor­i­ties in Shar­jah is­sued a warn­ing to peo­ple against us­ing un­li­censed pest con­trol firms after dozens were caught, and fined, for us­ing pro­hib­ited pes­ti­cides in homes.

Shar­jah Mu­nic­i­pal­ity said it has fined 45 pest con­trol firms in 2016 dur­ing in­spec­tions.

7DAYS has sub­se­quently dis­cov­ered that alu­minium phos­phide, a highly toxic sub­stance, which is banned for do­mes­tic use, is still be­ing widely used for pest con­trol in apart­ments and vil­las.

Jaf­far Ali Jaf­far, Head of En­vi­ron­ment Ser­vices at Shar­jah Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, said: “Strict mea­sures have been ini­ti­ated over the re­cent years after sev­eral res­i­dents ex­pressed con­cern over the safety of chem­i­cals used by firms that of­fer pest con­trol ser­vices.

“Many peo­ple have died in the past num­ber of years and oth­ers were hos­pi­talised after in­hal­ing th­ese poi­sonous chem­i­cals.”

Last year, a three-week-old boy died after in­hal­ing alu­minium phos­phide that had seeped into the fam­ily apart­ment through the air vents from a neigh­bour­ing flat.

In Au­gust 2014, a three-year-old Filipino girl died after suf­fer­ing from pes­ti­cide poi­son­ing. In an­other in­ci­dent in the same month, a Filipino died and five oth­ers were hos­pi­talised after in­hal­ing the highly toxic sub­stance, which leaked into their apart­ment in Dubai from a neigh­bour­ing flat. After spray­ing alu­minium phos­phide in his apart­ment, the ten­ant locked the prop­erty and went on hol­i­day. Alu­minium phos­phide is widely avail­able on the black mar­ket. The Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment and Wa­ter last year banned the dis­tri­bu­tion of any pes­ti­cide with­out proper reg­is­tra­tion.

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