Oct 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Health Ministry is considering enacting legislation to ban or control the use of chemical fertilizer, insecticides and weedicides and other agro chemicals containing harmful elements.
Addressing the Cabinet news briefing Friday Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said the main purpose was to contain the chronic kidney disease prevalent in the agricultural regions of the country.
He said that the government would discuss this issue with the companies that import agro chemicals to the country.
The Minister citing the World Health Organization studies has said that the kidney disease is not resulted from the consumption of water. The WHO has found that the improper usage of chemical fertilizer, insecticides and weedicides is a reason for increased incidences of the chronic kidney disease.
According to the Minister, the WHO has requested to make the public aware of the use of chemical fertilizer and to make mandatory for them to use gloves and masks in their use. It has also recommended controlling the use of weedicides and its marketing.
A group of local university academics also recently disclosed that the agro chemicals used in the island contained arsenic which is harmful and linked the renal diseases spreading in North Central Province to arsenic.
The Cabinet has decided to appoint a ministerial committee consisting of relevant Ministers and assisted by officials from relevant ministries to examine the issues arising from the utilization of the chemical fertilizer and agro chemicals and make recommendations to the Cabinet on , measures to be taken to mitigate adverse effects of these to the environment and to the people.