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Home Insect Control Association urges residents of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to stop using illegal mosquito repellent incense sticks to reduce risk of respiratory disease
Posted on December 29, 2021
Hyderabad : The COVID-19 pandemic has increased respiratory problems leading to partially or in some cases fully damaged lungs. Healthcare professionals around the world are already engaged in controlling the ongoing health crisis.
The Home Insect Control Association (HICA), a nonprofit industry organization promoting the safe use of household insecticides in India, has called for an end to the buying or selling of mosquito repellent incense sticks (agarbattis ) in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, as the majority of them are illegal. and does not have the necessary certifications / licenses.
In the past two months, dengue cases have increased in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. There have also been reports of Covidengue, a co-infection of dengue and COVID-19 in a person, adding further to citizens’ concerns.
People protect themselves from mosquitoes and buy mosquito / agarbatti incense sticks. available at drugstores, pot stores and kirana stores. These incense / agarbatti sticks are sold at a low price and have a visible impact on mosquitoes, but are manufactured and sold illegally without the proper licenses and permissions from the relevant government department. Illegal and deceptive incense / agarbatti sticks available in the market contain harmful unapproved chemicals (insecticides / pesticides). It can cause health problems such as asthma, bronchitis, reactive airway disease, and other respiratory ailments. The basic checks on safety parameters that are mandatory for all household insecticide products are not carried out by those manufacturers producing illegal agarbattis.
Mosquito repellent agarbattis are sold in the market under such names as Relax, Comfort, Sleepwell, Just Relax, Relief, Natural Relax, among others. These incense / agarbatti sticks do not go through regulated manufacturing and licensing processes. In accordance with the provisions of the Insecticide Law of 1968, all household insecticide products must be approved by the Central Insecticide Council (CIB) and the Registration Committee. Household insecticide products are approved by the IBC after evaluating the toxicity and safety of the products for consumers and animals before granting authorizations.
Mr. Jayant Deshpande, Honorary Secretary, HICA, said, “At a time when respiratory problems occur frequently, we strongly urge people to stop or avoid using mosquito repellent incense sticks. Most of them available in the market are illegal and can harm the health of consumers. Using illegal mosquito repellent agarbattis or incense with unknown combustible material can trigger asthma, bronchitis, reactive airway disease, and other respiratory ailments.
These incense / agarbatti sticks do not go through regulatory controls and contain chemicals that exceed prescribed levels. They are also likely to contain banned or unapproved chemicals. Although these incense sticks appear to be effective against mosquitoes, they will be equally harmful to people’s health.
He added: “In the past 3 years, we have carried out more than 50 raids with local authorities across the country, including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. While we are committed to protecting the interests of
consumers, we recommend that people use only brand name mosquito repellants and solutions approved by the relevant authorities. The license number begins with the CIR number and the mfg license number which are issued by the Central Insecticide Registration and Registration Board (CIB-RC) and the Department of State and must be displayed on the packaging. . People buy more mosquito incense because of its affordable cost. Today, the organized industry has innovated and introduced safe alternatives to incense sticks like paper-based mosquito repellent cards which are approved, effective, and cost as low as INR 1 per use.
In India, nearly 50% of mosquito repellants are in the searing format, of which nearly 30% use unapproved and illegal mosquito repellent incense sticks. HICA has worked with authorities to take tough action against manufacturers violating the protocol for authorization to follow certain safety parameters before the product is introduced to the market for consumers.