Bangladesh bans highly hazardous pesticide

Bangladesh has banned the production, use and import of a highly hazardous pesticide.

Responding to the ban, Professor Michael Eddleston, Director of the Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention (CPSP), said:

“Congratulations to Bangladesh for its continued efforts to protect people from hazardous chemicals.

“Bangladesh has already had remarkable success in reducing deaths by pesticide self-poisoning. This is largely due to bans on a number of highly hazardous pesticides in the 1990s and 2000s. However, many lethal pesticides are still used widely in agriculture and poisoning remains a substantial clinical problem.

“This latest ban on one of the most harmful, and most commonly used, pesticides in Bangladesh therefore has the potential to save many more lives.”

Carbofuran is a broad-spectrum carbamate insecticide that is widely used in Bangladesh. It is classified as ‘highly hazardous’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO) due to its toxicity and risk to human health. The ban will come into effect from next June.

CPSP, alongside colleagues from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Toxicology Society of Bangladesh (TSB), has recently taken part in discussions with government officials in Bangladesh to highlight the dangers of acutely toxic highly hazardous pesticides.

CPSP is also currently supporting the large-scale CCBOC clinical trial in Bangladesh exploring new treatments for patients with organophosphorus or carbamate insecticide poisoning. The trial is coordinated by the Toxicology Society of Bangladesh (TSB) and the University of Edinburgh.