Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has expressed worry about the safety of most mosquito coils used in homes in the country.
He said most of the mosquito coils which have been banned in other parts of the world have found their way into the country and were being used in homes with disregard to safety instructions.
“Pesticides are a big problem, and I have personally seen some mosquito coils and sprays that are banned everywhere else in the world on the Ghanaian market.
“We know that some of the pesticides contain substances that are dangerous and toxic to marine cognisance … and we are burning these things and inhaling them,” Prof Frimpong-Boateng said during a meeting with officials of the Environmental Protection Agency in Accra.
The meeting was part of a working visit to the EPA to fraternise with staff and management.
He said the instructions that went with the mosquito coils required that when it was lighted in a room, the doors and windows should be closed for some time after which they were opened to allow air into the room before one could sleep in it.
However, the adverts say different things; sometimes urging people to sleep with the coils because they smell nice and one could inhale the smoke.
He said: “Our fight against the mosquito should start from the environment – we should get rid of the breeding sites so the mosquito will not get a chance even to multiply. Clean environment is very important”.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said it was only a clean environment that would help clear mosquitoes and not pesticides which also had their negative effects on people’s health.
“We have the obligation to change this country and if we are not able to do it I don’t think we can expect any other generation to do it… EPA has a strong hand in this exercise in helping keep a clean environment,” the Minister said.
“If we have the discipline to clean the environment we will have the discipline to improve our industry, improve agriculture and everything else,” he said, and called on the public to also separate waste in the homes.