x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Another Dubai man poisoned to death by own pesticide

Dubai police warn residents to be careful after the latest in a string of pesticide-related deaths.

DUBAI // The death of a man who died after spraying his apartment with a pesticide - one of several cases of poisonings reported this year - has prompted Dubai Police to warn of the dangers of using pesticides without expert advice.

In the latest incident, a man's body was discovered after he sprayed his apartment with a powerful pesticide and fell asleep.

Police are also investigating the death of a man who inhaled pesticide, along with three roommates, after a room next to their living quarters was sprayed. The man died in the hospital while his roommates survived and are in a stable condition.

Col Jamal Al Jalaf, the deputy director of Dubai Police's CID, warned that mishandled or improperly used pesticides can cause serious health problems and even death.

"These materials are readily available in the market and are cheap, which can lead to their overuse and subsequent ill-effects," Col Al Jallaf said. "People need to follow the guidelines for the use of these items and avoid using them around children, before going to bed or around food items."

Col Al Jallaf urged the public to contact the municipality for fumigation services, as he warned that some pesticides on the market may be unapproved and deadly.

Giving an example, he said: "An Asian man fell grievously ill and had to be hospitalised recently. Investigations revealed that his neighbour had heavily fumigated his apartment with a powerful pesticide that leaked through the air conditioning vent through to the victim's home."

Police are also investigating the death of a man who inhaled pesticides, along with three roommates, after a room next to their living quarters was sprayed.

The man died in the hospital while his roommates survived.

On June 3, an Indian man died after he inhaled pesticides being sprayed in a nearby flat in the Naif district. Municipality inspectors blamed the use of phosphene tablets, which are used to kill bedbugs, and warned that their use is illegal without safety precautions.

Two weeks ago, three men were charged at the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours with negligence in causing the death of a security guard who died after pesticides were sprayed in his building.

The guard was found dead in his room in a building in Al Baraha next to a number of empty cans of pesticide, records showed.

And earlier this year, at the Ajman Court of Appeals three men were found guilty of killing two 5-month-old boys, Suhail and Ali, in March 2010 after they sprayed a neighbour's apartment. Their triplet sister, Hala, became grievously ill but survived. They were sentenced to four years in jail in January, but had their sentences reduced to six months and ordered to pay Dh200,000 in blood money.

amustafa@thenational.ae