Dubai pest control companies flaunt regulations
By Sajila Saseendran
Eight pest control companies in Dubai have been shut down recently for using banned pesticides at homes, the Dubai Municipality said on Monday, while urging residents to seek the service of only the approved companies to do pest control.
The Municipality’s Pest Control Section ordered the closure of the firms after they were found to be using emulsion concentrate (EC) formulation for pest control at residential premises, an official told Khaleej Times.
Like aluminium phosphide, which was the cause of death in many recent pesticide poisoning cases in the country, including that of an Iraqi girl last month in Sharjah, EC is also banned for domestic pest management purposes.
“They are meant for outdoor pest control under strict supervision,” said A.K.M. Motahar Hussain, an expert at the municipality’s Pest Control Section.
He said emulsion concentrate is not as lethal as aluminium phosphide tablets that release toxic phosphane gas. “Though it doesn’t kill people like phosphane, it can still make them fall sick. We had banned it for domestic use in late 1990’s.”
The municipality’s action against the erring firms came after it received complaints from people in the nearby residences of homes where the banned pesticide was used.
The official said the pest control crew at the civic body are carrying out inspections to find out illegal people and to ensure banned chemicals are not used in households and other buildings.
“We have given strict instructions to the approved companies to avoid possible risks while applying chemicals for killing pests. Last month we organised a comprehensive workshop for companies on the advanced technologies and systems to avoid pests with safe methods.”
The Dubai Municipality, he said, is following an advanced method to track and control companies in the field. The Pest Control Section has clear guidelines on starting a pest control company and registered companies are supposed to supply the list of the chemicals which they may use to the section.
The Ministry of Environment and Water is the only authority to register chemicals (pesticides) and they have a list of pesticides approved to be used in the country.
The Head of the Pest Control Section, Hisham Abdul Rahman Al Yahya, reiterated that the public must not contact any persons or companies that are not approved by civic body.
“There are more than 100 companies in Dubai that are duly approved by the Dubai Municipality. Still, some people tend to hire illegal persons or companies to end their nuisance, but unfortunately [invite] havoc,” he said in a media statement.
The municipality had earlier announced that the monthly updated list of the companies can be obtained from its Call Centre — 800900 — or from Public Health Pest Control Section in Al Qouz 043474448.
Al Yahya said people should be more alert in ensuring that the agents they are dealing with are holding permit cards issued by the municipality.
“If anybody is noticed to be selling items for pest killing or contacting you offering pest control services without showing correct official documents, immediately inform the authorities,” he said, adding that people should stop entertaining illegal pest control agents for saving some money.