By Asmau Ahmad with Agency Report
The Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORCON) on Monday said only practicing environmental health provider should handle chemicals used for residential fumigation. Mr Cyril Akinyele, the Public Relations Officer of the council, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, only the environmental health officers, who practice public health pest control, know which chemicals are eco-friendly and which are not. He said that only eco-friendly chemicals could only be used for fumigation of houses.
He said that it was an offence for unlicensed persons to indulge in the act of disinfectant, popularly known as fumigation.
“We have Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and we have private practicing environmental health providers.
“If you want to carry public health pest control, which is what you call fumigation, it is either you are an environmental health officer or you are a registered practicing environmental health provider that have interest in that area public health pest control, in which you see many people dabbling into, and which is against the law, Act 11 of 2002 of Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria.
“If you want to practice that, you must register with Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria and you must have an environmental health officer as a technical person working with your establishment.
“And you must have a licensed an Environmental Health Officer using his or her license, standing for you because he is your technical officer.’’
Akinyele said that the people who engaged in fumigation of environment must also be guided by a licensed technical EHO. He said that the officer would be able to identify the types of chemicals to be used as disinfectant to avoid affecting public health.
“Chemicals that are not eco-friendly is not accepted because it is going to affect the public health and that is the effect of what we are seeing, destroying their health.
“Because chemicals that are being used are not eco-friendly. At the end of the day, it affects their skin; some inhalation would affect the lungs.
“And at the same time, it affects the structure; the building of the house because of some chemicals that are not supposes to spray on walls, are being sprayed on walls.
“Even animals die off and even you entering that house, you now suffer from some disease like pneumoconiosis because wrong chemicals are being used.’’
He advised the public against using illegal people with unhealthy chemicals because of cheap labour. According to Akinyele, the council is now arresting those who are illegally performing disinfectant in homes, offices or open spaces. He also advised the public to contact licensed environmental health officer for such services to avoid illegal practitioners.