Health Protection Agency (HPA) has advised the public to be cautious of exposure to the leaked chemical, used for mosquito control, stored at Roashanee Building housing health ministry.
HPA, on Tuesday, stated that two bottles of 1 liter Malathion stored in storage adjacent to Roashanee Building had broken and leaked the gas into the surrounding atmosphere. Due to the leaked chemical, some staff at the ministry had experienced breathing difficulties, vomiting and fainting, the ministry said.
Since exposure could result in serious consequences, HPA had advised pedestrians and others near the area to be extra cautious, not to wait near that area and to shut doors and windows of houses until the smell completely wanes.
HPA said symptoms of Malathion exposure are coughing, breathing difficulties, teary eyes, blurred vision, headaches or dizzy spells and nausea. If any of these symptoms manifests in a person, they are to seek immediate medical assistance, HPA said.
Health ministry and Majeedhiyya School was closed for a while following the chemical leak. Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF)’s Fire and Rescue team immediately arrived at the scene and took the bottles to Thilafushi for proper disposal. According to MNDF, the chemical was leaked from bottles that had expired and were kept on the ground floor of the ministry.
H. Roashanee Building houses many of the state institutes related to the health ministry, including World Health Organization (WHO) Maldives office, Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) and Health Protection Agency (HPA).