Insecticides ’put health of Tanzania children at risk’

Hundreds of thousands of Tanzanian children whose homes are treated with insecticide have 6.5 times greater risk of catching leukemia than children living in untreated environment, it has been learnt.

Research findings by US and Canadian scientists whose copy was availed to The Guardian in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday indicate that children whose homes are treated with insecticide are exposed to more health hazards.

’’Children living in houses treated with insecticide are subjected to diseases like leukemia, cancer, brain cancer, asthma and allergies,’’ reads part of the report.

The report shows that children, infants and foetuses have more rapid breathing, metabolic rates, thinner skins and they always spend more time in contact with the ground as well as more frequently place their fingers in their mouths.

According to the report, about 16 million US citizens are sensitive to such chemicals.

Last week, the Director General of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC), Dr Magnus Ngoille, said that at least 90 per cent of the rural population in Tanzania have been using obsolete pesticides in their farming activities.

Dr Ngoille stated that about 90 per cent of farmers in the rural areas have been using banned chemicals, thus exposing themselves to health hazards.

He was quoted as saying farmers were using pesticides banned in developed countries mainly out of ignorance.

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