The Sunday Mail
GOVERNMENT has warned the public against using aluminium phosphide to eradicate pests and insects, as the chemical is prohibited for households due to its toxicity that is dangerous to humans and livestock.
Aluminium phosphide – widely known as ‘rat pills’, is lethal to any living organism as it turns from its solid state to gas once the package is opened.
In an interview, chief director for crop research and specialist services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Dumisani Kutywayo, said use of the chemical is exclusively reserved for trained persons.
“We are talking of a restricted fumigant here. This means it should be used only by trained applicators, and should never be used inside homes, near human or animal habitation.
“It is restricted for use where bulk storage of cereals is done, like at Grain Marketing Board (GMB) silos,” he said.
Dr Kutywayo said due to its pungent smell, repeated exposure to the chemical causes serious damages to lungs, kidneys and the liver.