KARACHI - Pakistani scientists have warned the provincial governments, especially Sindh, Punjab and KPK that excessive use of pesticides for mosquito control can cause both acute and chronic health problems.
“Unnecessary use of pesticides can also damage ecosystem, as pyrethroids – one of pesticides – that are made of chemical or biological substances are highly toxic to fish, crustaceans, and bees,” they said talking to The Nation on Tuesday.
Well known chemical scientist Prof Dr Iqbal Chaudhary of Karachi University said that misuse of pesticides can be hazardous not only for the public health but also for our ecosystem because ecosystem-friendly insects are killed due to unplanned spray, as insecticides are made of chemical or biological substances used to kill or repel targeted organisms.
He said that during these days the provincial governments of especially three provinces use pesticides in various parts of the country to kill mosquitoes causing dengue fever and malaria; if the use of these chemicals could not be scientific, the public and our ecosystem might face deadly effects of the pesticides.
“If pesticides are used in less quantity against the insects, then these organisms can be emerged stronger,” Prof Iqbal held. He urged the government to take assistance of the scientists while having fumigation drive in any part of the country.
Jinnah University for Women Pro Chancellor Prof Dr Shahana Kazmi said pesticides could cause many health effects, such as dizziness and nausea, headaches, skin and eye irritations, difficulty breathing, weakness and others. She advised the fumigation conducting authorities to must inform the residents before spraying pesticides in the affected areas.
According to a report, prepared by American Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) and Citizens Environmental Research Institute (CERI), “Health effects of pesticides can cause both acute and chronic problems. Acute health effects appear shortly after exposure to these pesticides and can include: skin and eye irritations, headaches, dizziness and nausea, weakness, difficulty breathing, mental confusion and disorientation, seizures, coma, and death. Chronic health effects may not be apparent until months or years after exposure. Such health aliments include nervous, reproductive, and immune system disorders, and cancer. Children can be particularly sensitive to exposure to chemicals due to their small body size, immature immune systems and rapid growth cycles. Although everyone is at risk from exposure, the most vulnerable groups are children, pregnant women, the elderly, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and people with compromised immune systems. All pesticides are associated with some risk of harm to human health and the environment.”
Provincial Focal Person Dengue Surveillance Cell Sindh Dr M Shakeel Aamir Mullick said that the fumigation drive being conducted in the targeted areas, where the cases of dengue fever were being reported.
Answering a query, he said that Anvil, Permethrin and Malathion are largely use to kill mosquitoes. Talking about the cases of dengue fever reported in the province as well as in Karachi, he said that as many as 2,583 total cases of dengue have been reported in the province, out of them 2,249 are reported only in Karachi.