Nigerians have been warned to stay away from using chemicals such as mercury that could cause damage to their health and the environment.
Mrs Priscilla Achakpa, the Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme (WEP) made the call in Abuja.
She said that mercury poisoning could be gotten from mercury vapour that produces harmful effects and when inhaled could affect the lungs, kidneys, the digestive, the nervous and immune systems.
She said that people using mercury could be exposed to the danger, and the symptoms include muscles weakness, skin rashes, memory problems, trouble in hearing, speaking and seeing, among others.
According to her, mercury can be prevented by eating a diet low in mercury and ensuring that mercury is removed from medical and other devices.
Achakpa said that the organisation had also embarked on in intensive sensitisation on the negative effects of mercury and other chemicals that could be harmful to the environment and health.
She said that the aim of the awareness was to educate Nigerians on the dangers and the damage mercury and other chemicals could have on environment.
“We also want Nigerians to know that they can live without mercury, there are other alternatives rather than using hazardous chemicals that will cause trouble to our environment and their lives,’’ she said.
She said that government was committed to implementing Minamata Convention on Mercury, adding that the implementation would protect human health and the environment.
The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from adverse effects of mercury.
The convention was negotiated by the global community including Nigeria between 2010 and 2013.
It was adopted and opened for signature on Oct. 10, 2013 at a diplomatic conference in Kumamoto, Japan.
Achakpa, however, advised Nigerians to stay away from mercury or harmful chemicals to enable them live long with good health and better environment.
“Mercury is harmful to human health as well as our environment, it is poisonous and deadly, we can live without mercury and there are other alternatives,’’ she warned.