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Council establishes centre for data on agrochemicals, others

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has established a Toxicology Information Centre (TIC) in line with the provisions and guidelines of the World…

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has established a Toxicology Information Centre (TIC) in line with the provisions and guidelines of the World Health Organisation.

The Centre is located within the Council’s laboratory at the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja.

The Centre is to provide toxicology information and be involved in continuous systematic collection of data that may assist in addressing expected and unexpected exposures to chemicals and other dangerous activities involved in raw materials production, exploitation, extraction, processing and industrial manufacturing activities.

Prof Hussaini D. Ibrahim, the director-general of the Council, said agricultural production and productivity in the country was practised with widespread use of chemicals, such as inorganic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides that are associated with serious risks for the environment and dangers to human beings, the flora and fauna of high economic potentials.  Pesticides, for instance, are highly toxic and persist in the environment.

“It has the ability to be transported along the food chains and to migrate to adjacent environments, such as water bodies, soil and the air, as well as the ability to accumulate in products produced.

“The constant application of pesticides results in the appearance of resistant forms of harmful organisms.  This requires strict regulation of their use in agriculture and constant pollution monitoring of agro ecosystems,” he said.

He said it was also imperative for the Council to ensure adequate monitoring of the effects of these activities on the environment and on the fauna and flora in the country in order to provide solutions to their debilitating effects.

“As a center of expertise, the Toxicology Information Centre will provide critical public health and chemical safety services to manage harmful effects of toxic exposures and poisonings in a cost-effective manner.  Its roles, among others, are the identification, collection and dispensing of all information concerning acute exposure to chemicals for the purpose of evaluating the toxic and chemical risk, to monitor, warn and prevent poisoning in order to protect and secure human and environmental health.

“It is also a centralised repository of data about human exposures to chemicals, including information about the agents involved, the situations giving rise to exposure, and the health effects of exposure. These data can be used to assist in the reduction of the incidence of poisoning by identifying emerging toxicological hazards, stimulating preventive measures by raw materials explorers and exploiters, manufacturers and regulators and assessing the effectiveness of such measures,” he said.

The Toxicology Information Centre will contribute to a number of the essential capacities needed by Nigeria for the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) in particular, the capacities for surveillance, preparedness and response for public health events involving chemical agents.



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