Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA) has advised communities in Niger to desist from spreading raw food by the roadside, in the interest of public health.
The General Manager of the agency, Mr. Lucky Barau, made the call in Minna on Friday.
Barau, who said that the development usually expose such raw food to vehicle exhaust fumes, warned that the agency would not fold its hands seeing unhealthy habit with health challenges.
He said that vehicle exhaust fumes contained certain poisonous chemicals, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide, soot, nitrogen oxides and benzene that were harmful to human organs as well as animals.
“There are pollutants that cannot be destroyed by cooking and when they are consumed, they cause harm to the body tissues.
“They are materials called persistent organic pollutants, they persist and they cannot be destroyed as they keep on changing from one form to another.
“Pollutants, when cooked and eaten, go into the human system and keep accumulating on human organs and biomagnify by increasing their concentration on the tissues.
“These organisms are dangerous to the body issues and cause numerous health challenges as they travel up the food chain,“ he said.
The general manager said the agency had met with the local government chairmen to sensitize them on the need for people to cultivate the culture of safe food preservation as well as checking the danger inherent in spreading raw food by the roadside.
He warned that the agency would invoke the provision of the law on defaulters if advice and warnings were not heeded to after sensitization.
According to the general manager, the task force from the agency will soon commence patrol of the area with a view to arresting defaulters.