The executive director of Public Health Nigeria has warned against the use of a banned agro chemical to wash hair. Dr. Oche Otorkpa who issued the warning recently stated that this has become imperative following the recent findings by the public health organization that despite the ban on the product by NAFDAC, sniper was still being sold openly and indiscriminately.
The public health expert stated that, using sniper to wash hair could kill a person within minutes of application as the substance is very toxic to humans. Using Sniper to kill lice or get rid of dandruff could easily send a person into coma he added.
Sniper, is a DDVP, 2,2-Dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate compound, marketed in Nigeria by Swiss-Nigerian Chemical Company, as a synthetic organophosphorus but which many Nigerians have converted it to varying uses from mosquito killer to hair treatment solution. The insecticide has been banned in EU since 1998 but its sale was only restricted in Nigeria after many suicides were completed and attempted using the product.
The symptoms of sniper exposure include weakness, headache, tightness in chest, blurred vision, salivation, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, eye and skin irritation, miosis (pupil constriction), eye pain, runny nose, wheezing, laryngospasm, cyanosis, anorexia, muscle fasciculation, paralysis, dizziness, ataxia, convulsions, hypotension (low blood pressure), and cardiac arrhythmias. The acute onset of these symptoms after application or poisoning leaves little or no time to resuscitate or attempt to save a victim.
A person can be exposed to the associated risk of Sniper through inhalation, absorption via the skin, ingestion, and eye contact.