The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has enacted a prohibition on the application of paraquat, a commonly utilized weed killer, on Nigerian farmlands.
The agency’s newly issued regulatory policy today declares the application of paraquat on crops is henceforth forbidden, citing significant risks to human health and environmental safety.
Why NAFDAC banned paraquat
Paraquat enjoys widespread use as an agricultural herbicide across various regions globally. Nevertheless, the agency has implemented a nationwide prohibition of its usage, attributing the decision to its capacity for water source contamination and its tendency to persist in the soil for extended durations due to improper application and overuse.
The agency has recognized that paraquat poses a significant threat to both human health and the ecological balance.
Upholding its duty to facilitate the safe and judicious use of agricultural chemicals, the agency ensures that only those agrochemicals that meet the criteria of quality, efficacy, and safety are authorized for use. Consequently, this has culminated in the official ban on the utilization of paraquat in Nigeria.
What you should know
Paraquat acts swiftly to eliminate a vast array of annual weeds and grasses among crops. This herbicide’s toxicity is alarmingly high for both human beings and the environment, with primary routes of entry into the body being inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through compromised skin, such as cuts.
Any contact with paraquat can result in severe mouth burns, intense difficulty breathing, diminished appetite, stomach pain, waves of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a rise in body temperature.
Additionally, it may lead to muscular discomfort, an overall sense of fatigue, breathing difficulties, serious poisoning including fetal demise in the event of exposure during pregnancy, long-term health issues that may endure for years, and an accelerated heartbeat, among other symptoms.
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