Use charcoal; not palm oil to expel poison – EPA

Dr Sam Adu-Kumi, the Registrar of Pesticides at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has cautioned the public to desist from drinking palm oil to expel poisonous substances that they accidentally ingest.

He said drinking palm oil rather exacerbated the situation because it absorbed the poison and spread it in the victim’s lungs, resulting in complications.

Dr Adu-Kumi, who is also the Director-in-charge of Chemicals, explained that many poisonous substances, including pesticides, were organic compounds or oil-based, just as the palm oil, so they mixed up very well.

Speaking in an interview with the GNA in Accra, on Tuesday, Dr Adu-Kumi said when the palm oil-laced poisonous substances got into the lungs it was almost impossible to extract it.

“You will rather end up killing the person or damaging the lungs. So we don’t encourage expelling poisons, which are organic based with palm oil.”   

Dr Adu-Kumi said activated charcoal, which had holes and were carbons, with its acids were able to absorb the organic component of that liquid poisonous material onto it and that reduced the concentration of the chemical in the body.

“So more or less, it neutralises the poison but that one does not induce vomiting,” Dr Adu-Kumi noted.

He advised all households to have in handy, activated charcoal in homes so they could rely on it in times of poisoning.

He also advised people to read, clearly, the labels on the bottles on any chemicals, especially, pesticides, and follow the instructions, as to how to handle it or store it.

“It is chemical specific. Get these basic information and you can handle any chemical in a specific and special way,” Dr Adu-Kumi said.

Source: GNA

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