Dubai: Improper use of pesticides could pose safety and environmental threats, the Dubai Municipality said.
The recent death of an Egyptian child in Sharjah due to improper use of pesticides has alarmed the public.
Earlier this month, investigations into the death of two-year-old Habiba Resham Abdul Rahman revealed that an unlicensed pest control company used aluminium phosphideat a neighbouring flat where the victim’s family live.
Traces of aluiminium phosphide were also found in the blood of the victim’s brother, who became critically ill.
The Municipality has recently issued a warning against using highly toxic chemicals like aluminium phosphide, which usually comes in grey tablet form and is used to exterminate rats and other pests.
Police also arrested a group of people believed to be behind the unlicensed pesticide company.
According to experts, people should be cautious about pesticide use and should only engage the services of registered pest control companies.
Al Mahi Al Tilib Gubran, Senior Pest Control Studies Officer at Dubai Municipality, said people are prohibited from using pesticides and should use the services of professionals duly licensed by the Public Health Pest Control Section of the Dubai Municipality.
“Improper use of pesticides may adversely affect children, adults, animals and environment. Actual impact on health depends on the active ingredients of the pesticides.
“The best and safest pesticides to be used against various pests are those registered by the Ministry of Water and Environment and applied by licensed companies by DM,” said Al Mahi.
Experts say that apart from environment hazards, improper pesticide use could cause health problems like skin irritation, suffocation that could be fatal.
“A duly licensed company takes the responsibility of using the correct pesticides so that the pest control treatment is effective and, at the same time, it does not cause any adverse affects like health hazards,” Hani Shehadeh, President of Ecovar, which is the representative of National Pest Management Association in MENA region, said.
Residents should also follow the instructions given by pest control professionals to avoid poisoning risks, experts say.
At present, there are nearly 120 pest control companies licensed by the Dubai Municipality. The updated list of the companies can be obtained from Dubai Municipality Call Centre (800-900) or from Public Health Pest Control Section in Al Quoz (04-3474448)