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"Naphthalene Balls Are Used For Repelling Insects And Not Purifying Drinking Water" - FDA Warns

The Leadership of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is warning the general public desist from using naphthalene balls as means of purifying drinking water.

According to the FDA, the naphthalene balls are rather used for repelling insects.

In a statement issued by its communications department, it said "Under the mandate of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), naphthalene balls are classified as household chemical substances for repelling insects. It has come to the notice of the FDA that some sections of the public use naphthalene/mothballs to purify drinking water, and for the treatment of stomach aches, measles, and diarrhoea"

The release further noted that these forms of usage other than repelling insects may cause serious harm to the users and therefore the public is strongly advised to desist from that.

"Indeed, research has shown that incorrect use of naphthalene balls can have severe health consequences on consumers and long-term exposure to them may result in severe anemia, respiratory tumors, reproductive problems, headaches, nausea, sweating, jaundice, confusion, malaise, abdominal pains, eye, and nose irritations" it added. has gathered that continuous release of these balls into water bodies and the environment can have dire consequences on aquatic life.

The FDA says it is urging the public to desist from the unapproved use of naphthalene balls and adhere to only the approved use as a household chemical substance solely approved for repelling insects and pests.

"To this end, the FDA will continue to partner with relevant institutions in the sensitization of the public on both the appropriate use and harm that may result from the abuse of naphthalene balls to safeguard the health and safety of the consuming public"

In other developments, the FDA says with regards to the recent introduced Street Food Vending Permit initiative, it is closely monitoring the preparation, packaging and storage of street foods.

The release mentioned that they are being enforced in a bid to ensure that no chemical contamination occurs and there is strict adherence to Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) at all times.


Naphthalene balls, sometimes referred to as mothballs are white, volatile, small balls that are used either as pesticides or insecticides.

They may be used indoors or outdoors.

Naphthalene balls mostly consists of the ingredient naphthalene and thionaphthalene and is obtained from either coal tar or petroleum distillation.

When naphthalene melts from solid into the gaseous state, it produces a strong pungent odor which is toxic to moths and other insects.

Under the mandate of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), naphthalene balls are classified as household chemical substances for repelling insects.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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