x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Municipality to list safe pest controllers after spate of UAE poisonings

12 labourers who were exposede to aluminium phosphide at their accommodation at the weekend have been discharged from hospital.

SHARJAH // Licensed pest-control companies trained in the safe use of chemicals will be listed on the municipality's website after a recent spate of poisonings.

The move comes after cases that resulted in the death of a two-year-old girl and left more than 20 people ill.

Shatha Al Mualla, director of public health at Sharjah Municipality, said it was hoped the information would stop residents going to unlicensed companies that use illegal and dangerous pesticides.

"We have already been notified of the new chemical-poisoning cases involving 12 labourers who were treated at the Al Qassimi and Kuwait hospitals," Ms Al Mualla said.

"Investigations regarding this new incident are already under way and we are taking an extra step to publish a list of genuine pesticide companies and helping residents to identify them."

The 12 men from Pakistan and Bangladesh were treated after suffering severe vomiting and stomach pains.

Capsules of aluminium phosphide, the same pesticide blamed for the death of two-year-old Habiba Hisham this month, were found in a room opposite theirs in industrial area 12.

After being kept under observation for 24 hours, the nine men at Kuwait Hospital were discharged yesterday, said Dr Yousef Al Serkal, its director general.

The three at Al Qassimi Hospital were also allowed to leave.

Inspectors and pesticide experts from the municipality visited the men's lodgings to take samples on Sunday.

Sharjah has also had a number of food-poisoning cases in the past few weeks, resulting in one death.

The most recent involved eight members of the same Emirati family, including four children, treated at Al Qassimi Hospital on Thursday.

The family fell ill after eating tinned food. They were treated by medical staff and discharged the following day.

Ms Al Mualla asked residents to always check the expiry date of food.

She also urged business owners not to switch off refrigerators at night to save electricity.

ykakande@thenational.ae