THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has called on farmers, agro-input dealers and exporters of agricultural produce to shun the use of methyl bromide as fumigant as the substance has since been banned in the country.
The agency reiterated the ban in a statement signed on behalf of its director-general, Mojisola Adeyeye and made available to the media today, July 15. The agency said it was necessary to draw attention to the ban as there has been an upsurge in the demand on Nigeria by some countries like Mexico and India, for the use of methyl bromide fumigant on the agricultural products being exported to their countries.
According to NAFDAC, Nigeria implemented the ban because she is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol 1987 which banned the use of the substance as it was found to be an ozone-depleting agro-chemical. The agency called for the use of alternative pesticides that were cheaper, safer and more effective.
The agency warned that short-term exposure to methyl bromide can cause severe injury to the lungs while long-term exposure can lead to neurological effects in humans.
Methyl bromide is a highly toxic substance used as a gas fumigant against insects, termites, rodents, weeds, nematodes, and soil-borne diseases. Because it dissipates rapidly to the atmosphere, the chemical can cause a lot of damage to human health and the environment.