For many years, Nigerians have adopted several methods to fight of restless mosquitoes including the use of mosquito nets, mosquito coils, insect repelling cream and a myriad of insecticides. Some families choose to prevent the entrance of mosquitoes rather than kill them. And so for them, once its dusk, all doors are closed and only the mosquito net windows are open for ventilation. But in this post, I’ll be looking a particular that has proven to be effective against mosquitoes, but increasing concerns have been raised over the health hazards it poses – Mosquito coils.

A mosquito coil is a mosquito repelling incense, usually made of pyretherum powder and moulded into a spiral. The spiral is mounted on a hold and usually burns from the outer end to the inner end of the spiral. The scent embedded within the smoke repels mosquitoes.

Apart from the fact that mosquito coils clearly constitute fire hazards if they are left unattended, they also constitute health hazards too, in the absence of proper use. Studies in China and some parts of Asia, especially in  Malaysia have revealed that burning a single mosquito coil releases as much quanty of unhealthy substances as would be realeased by burning over 105 cigarettes. For example, for some mosquito coils, the smoke contains as many particles as you’ll find whw you burn 73-78 cigarettes, and as much formaldehyde as can by gotten from over 48 cigarette sticks.

Even mice and rats react unfavorably to the smoke emitted from mosquito coils, exhibiting a few symptoms like respiratory irritation. Formaldehyde is a known cancer-causing chemical(many others where found in the smoke too), that alters the body’s functions adversely. Just as much as a chain smoker who runs through three packs of cigarettes in a day is exposed to severe respiratory problems, same way direct exposure to the incense from mosquito coils is unhealthy even in higher measures.

But… Nothing works for me except it.

If this is your question, then do not despair, for there is hope, mosquito coils will not affect your health negatively if you can use them properly. Never use mosquito coils without proper ventilation. The smoke is meant to repel mosquitoes and maybe suffocate them if they prefer to go the way of stubbornness. Mosquito coils are not meant for your lungs, remember whatever gets into your lungs gets into your bloodstream with any inspection from your digestive system. Try to use mosquito coils less frequently and concentrate more on stopping them from breeding and multiplying in your home. And please, the lungs and respiratory systems of infants are more susceptible to the negative effects of the incense, place the mosquito coil far away from their breathing space, preferably place them on window sills(that where they should be in the first place!).

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