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Study links Mosquito repellent coils to acute respiratory infections

A new study conducted by the Department of Environmental Science of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, has revealed that regular use of mosquito repellent coils could be hazardous.

The study said mosquito repellent coils have the potential to cause acute respiratory infections (ARI).

According to the report, the base material for production of the repellent contained a variety of insecticide compounds, which pollute the air when burnt, thereby posing health hazards to users.

The discovery contained in the KNUST 2016 Research Report, said as part of the research, which spanned a period of over one year, a cross-sectional study was undertaken involving 480 randomly selected households across the nation.

Many residents who exclusively applied mosquito coils were grouped as ‘test cohort’, while those who did not apply any mosquito repellent methods constituted a ‘control cohort’.

The test group that applied the coils reported malaria incidence rate of 86.3 per cent, with the ‘control group’ reporting a 72.4 per cent malaria incidence rate.

The observed difference was statistically significant as the number of respondents who reported symptoms of cough from mosquito coil application rated 52.6 per cent and this was marginally greater than the 46.1 per cent of those who did not apply coils.

Further revelation of the report noted that “Respondents with shortness of breath, which was used as the basis for ARI, were more likely to have applied mosquito coils”.

While concluding that the application of mosquito coils in the study communities did not necessarily reduce the incidence of malaria, the study observed that it, however, presented a potential respiratory risk factor, and said, there was the need to critically examine exposure to emissions from burning coils.

Business Hilights investigations in Nigeria show that mosquito repellent coils remain the most accessible and affordable Mosquito repellant products and there has been no move by the Nigerian government to either conduct raids or end the importation.