PCA Targets Portland in Campaign on Proper Use of Chemicals


The importance of ensuring that chemicals are used in a safe manner was emphasized at a community meeting hosted by the Pest Control Authority (PCA), in the community of Charles Town in Portland on September 26.
This meeting was the fifth in a series of fora being staged in Portland by the PCA to sensitize the residents of the parish about proper ways to use chemicals and the dangers they face if that is not done.
Portland has been chosen for the staging of the meetings as a result of a survey conducted by the PCA, which revealed that the parish had the highest incidence of chemical poisoning in the island.
The survey also found that the main victims of that poisoning are children under five years old.Addressing the meeting, Hugh Ho-Young, Inspector for the PCA, said it was of critical importance for persons who use chemicals to carefully read the labels on the containers, and to follow the instructions about how they should be used, as failure to do so could pose serious risks to other people.
He appealed to persons not to purchase chemicals in containers without labels, pointing out that this omission was contrary to the legal requirement and could compromise the safety of anyone using the chemicals.
Mr. Ho-Young also implored users to always wear protective gear, such as overalls, respirators, shields and goggles to ensure that they are exposed to as little danger as possible when handling chemicals, adding that they should ensure that empty containers are properly and carefully disposed of, to prevent any danger to the members of the community.
He stressed that the use of chemicals to destroy insects and other pests should be an exercise of last resort.
The Inspector appealed to persons not to store drinking water or food in chemical containers, or wash farm clothes with those worn by members of the wider family, as this could endanger the lives of family members.

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