A ban has been placed on the use of paraquat, a widely used herbicide for crops in Nigeria as a result of its harmful effects.
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) announced the ban in a regulatory directive policy released Saturday (today).
In the release titled “POLICY ON THE BAN OF PARAQUAT”, the health agency said the use of paraquat on agricultural produce is now prohibited due to its detrimental effects on both human health and the environment.
Director General, NAFDAC, Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, in the regulatory directive on the ban on Paraquat said, “Paraquat is a fast-acting herbicide on a wide range of annual grasses and broad-leaved weeds in crops. It is highly toxic to humans and the environment and enters the body mainly by inhaling, swallowing or through damaged skin like skin cuts.
“Exposure to paraquat may lead to burns in the mouth, acute respiratory distress, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. It can also cause muscle pain, lethargy, shortness of breath, acute poisoning including the death of fetus in cases where pregnant women are exposed to paraquat, or chronic effects that can persist for a lifetime and rapid heart amongst others.
“Paraquat is a widely used herbicide in several parts of the world. However, the agency has banned its use in the country due to its potential to contaminate water sources and its persistence to remain in the soil for a long period of time as a result of misuse and abuse. It disclosed that paraquat is found to be highly toxic to both humans and the environment.
“It is the mandate of the agency to ensure safe and responsible use of agrochemicals by assuring only quality, effective, and safe agrochemicals are registered by the agency. This has led to the prohibition of the use of paraquat in Nigeria.“