UAE | Environment

Pesticide deaths: Authorities re-educate pest controllers

Dubai Municipality trains 104 participants from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and northern emirates

  • By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 17:30 June 23, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Atiq Ur Rehman/Gulf News
  • In the past three weeks a three-year-old and her eightmonth-old sister died in Ajman due to pesticide poisoning.

Dubai: Authorities have held a training session to re-educate pest control contractors following recent deaths from pesticide poisoning.

“As we are aware, pests can cause a real threat to residential and commercial premises which may affect the health of people and damage property. A training [session] was designed with a view to provide companies with essential knowledge and information on pest management,” said Hesham Abdul Rahman Yahya, Head of the Pest Control Section at Dubai Municipality.

Gulf News earlier reported that in the past three weeks, a three-year-old girl and her eight-month-old sister died in Ajman, as well as a 35-year-old Filipina in Fujairah, after pesticide poisoning.

According to the forensic laboratory report of Ajman Police, the department of public health and environment at Ajman Municipality was able to confirm that the deaths occurred after the family’s neighbour bought pesticide from an unlicensed street vendor, and sprayed it in his home without the aid of a specialised technician.

Pest control experts explained that each emirate has its own set of rules about how pest control companies should carry out their services, but the chemicals available in the market have to first pass through the Ministry of Environment and Water.

The most commonly found pests in the emirate include mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, bedbugs, ants, non-biting midges, fleas, ticks, redback spiders and rodents.

“Waste produced by households and commercial outlets like hotels, shopping malls, hospitals and restaurants, which contain wet materials that are also liable to decay are potential food sources and harbourages for insects and rodents,” said Yahya.

The training course, which had 104 participants from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the northern emirates, focused on pests found both indoors and in rural environments.

Pest control strategy experts who carried out the training session emphasised that the objective was to provide an effective and economically efficient approach to pest control, without jeopardising public safety.

“Knowing how to properly handle the chemicals is very important and education is a key factor in order to avoid any [pesticide-related] accidents from happening. A number of techniques were discussed on how to use pesticide, as well as the biological information of chemicals,” added AKM Motahar Hussain, pest management specialist at Dubai Municipality.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 18:53 June 24, 2013

    I completely agree with comments of Mr. Haneef Puttur. Gulf News should pass this message to concerned department so that we can live peacefully in this great place. Thanks to gulf news for providing a platform to exchange views of UAE residencies.

    Michell Jane, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:17 June 24, 2013

    Residents and building administators should insist the pesticide contractors stick a warning on the main doors about the pesticide application details, with date and time of application so that other resident will take precautions in regards to their family's lives and health.

    Soundarapandian, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:05 June 24, 2013

    Even the use of pesticides used to kill cockroaches have severe side effects. Many people think of it as harmless, but it is not always so. At least prior notice should be given to people before its use. I've many times experienced its bad effects and even after repeatedly telling how it causes me severe problems, it is being used in our office without any notice. After all, it is something that is used to terminate some creature.

    gayathri, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 12:38 June 24, 2013

    Considering the precious lives we lost over the recent years, the authority should make it mandatory this task is handled by the landlords. Landlords should take responsibility of pesticides on routine dates. They should plan it and announce it, should make one day, so that all lives can be safeguarded without getting into individual tenants. This is the only solution which will work. Buildings should ban external, unlicensed companies from giving this service. Unless the authorities stress this policy, this problem will not be solved considering the past histories. In buildings where there are hundreds of flats and one resident wants to use pesticides he cannot ask rest 99 to leave the flat for a day, it's practically impossible. However, if the landlord plans to put pesticides on all 99 flats it will solve a big problem as it's practically impossible in this place to live without actually using pesticides for cockroaches and bed bugs in a shared buildings. Hope the authorities will make it mandatory for all building to check the fire alarms, water tank cleaning and pesticides, which will solve the most boiling issues of the nation.

    Haneef Puttur, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:56 June 24, 2013

    This tragedy is repeating. Authorities need to ban individuals from arranging & applying pesticides on their own. Instead, those who want pesticides to be sprayed in their premises should apply to municipality, who in turn would arrange it with approved/licensed companies. Until some such laws and facilities come into effect, landlords can ensure that no unauthorized pesticide application happens in their buildings. Landlords can enforce that, without their permission and approval of the pesticide company, no one should apply any pest control in their building. Such regulations will ensure that pesticides are applied in proper manner using approved material.

    Sonia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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