Dubai residents have been warned by the authorities that there is a high likelihood of confusing signs of pesticide poisoning with those of food poisoning. They urged anyone reporting symptoms such as chest pain and vomiting to contact the pest and food control department immediately. According to the Food Department Control Director, Khalid Sharif, the highest number of cases of pesticide poisoning was usually recorded in summer when there is a tendency of most residents to fumigate their households in attempting to control bedbugs and several other pests. Khalid stressed on the need to formulate a preventive system that is effective and called upon all concerned departments to cooperate. He said the government needed to increase the efforts to focus on preventing the illegal utilization of chemicals.
According to a report given by Khalid, a majority of cases of poisoning that were initially thought to be related to food poisoning turned out to be caused by using pesticides negligently. The first cases were thought to be food poisoning because it is quite difficult to tell the origin of a toxic substance by looking at the clinical signs like vomiting. In most cases, the last meal is often suspected as the illness’ cause. According to a food control expert, deaths often results when victims are not aware of the fumigation. This is especially common among children, whose immune system is still weak and cannot tolerate lethal toxins.
Poisoning linked to pesticides is often associated with immediate vomiting onset, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. There is no diarrhea or fever, two symptoms commonly associated with food poisoning. Awareness efforts should therefore focus on the general public and let the people know of the health effects associated with inhaling pesticides. According to food safety specialists in Dubai, people should avoid using aluminum phosphide, usually called ‘the bomb.’