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Say No To Mosquito Coils

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Lungs Are Made To Breathe Oxygen

Sure, with dengue fever lurking around, you have to keep the mozzies out.

But read this before you light that mosquito coil.

The smoke from the burning coil that keeps the mosquitoes at bay will be getting into your lungs and it's a lot of smoke. Burning one mosquito coil could be like smoking up to 137 cigarettes.

Dr. Ang Ai Tin, a paediatrician of 20 years, warned: 'Mosquito coils are made of substances like coconut husk, sawdust and dyes to keep them burning for up to eight hours. Burning one mosquito coil would release the same amount of smoke as burning 75 to 137 cigarettes.'

The report said the pollutants released by mosquito coils exceed air safety levels.

Dr Ang said: 'Breathing in too much smoke will increase the risk of asthma and cause persistent wheezing in children.'

Unlike cigarettes, mosquito coils do not contain tobacco but harmful chemicals are released from burning them USED IN MANY BUG SPRAYS.

These are formaldehyde, octachlorodipropyl ether and bischloromethyl ether.

The active ingredient in mosquito coils is Pyrethroid insecticides, used in many bug sprays. Pyrethroids are mostly harmless to humans, but Dr Ang said they can irritate the skin and eyes. Some people are allergic to them too.

But it is the other chemicals used in some mosquito coils that cause worry.

For example, formaldehyde affects the nose.

Formaldehyde is a colourless, flammable and strong smelling gas,' said Dr Ang.

Inhaling it could cause watery eyes, throat discomfort, coughing, wheezing, nausea and skin irritation. Also, it can cause nasal or sinus cancer and even leukaemia.

The amount of formaldehyde released from burning one mosquito coil can be as high as smoking 51 cigarettes. Formaldehyde is not an ingredient of mosquito coils but a by-product of burning them.

Octachlorodipropyl ether, better known as S-2, is a pesticide banned by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

When S-2 is burned, releases bischloromethyl ether, a strong and harmful chemical that causes lung cancer.