a herbicide, widely used on crops in Nigeria, paraquat, has been banned.
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in a regulatory directive policy released today, said the use of paraquat on agricultural produce is now prohibited due to its detrimental effects on both human health and the environment.
Though Paraquat is a widely used herbicide in several parts of the world, 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 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.
Reports say, Paraquat, a fast-acting herbicide on a wide range of annual grasses and broad-leaved weeds in crops, enters the body mainly by inhaling, swallowing or through damaged skin like skin cuts.
It added that exposure to paraquat may lead to burns in the mouth, acute respiratory distress, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, and 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, as well as rapid heart