Imports of cancer-causing chemicals increase in the Maldives

26 Dec 2022 | 15:27
Maldivian Agricultural land plot

A report by the Ministry of Environment Ministry on baseline chemical assessment has revealed that the imports for agricultural purposes have increased significantly. 

According to the Ministry of Environment, the based chemical study was to show the chemical profile prepared by the Ministry in 2016 to determine the nature of chemicals imported into the Maldives from 2017 to 2021 used in different industries.

While the ministry has revealed some details of the report, the report says that chemical substances and products imported into the Maldives have increased year-on-year during the same period.

In 2021, chemicals worth MVR 10 billion were imported into the country. Of this, MVR 7 billion is contributed to oil imports for power generation 

said the Ministry 

According to the report, the imports of chemicals substance decreased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the number of disinfectants, medicines and plant foods imported into the Maldives increased that year. The report further finds that 14 different types of pesticides, classified as cancer-causing chemicals by the 'International Agency for Research in Cancer' were imported in 2021. 

In addition, the increase of insecticides increased by 462 percent compared to 2017.

The report has revealed that the imports of cancer-causing chemicals such as asbestos and styrene used in boat building have also increased.

The Environment Ministry has stated that based on the findings of the report the government will get the necessary information to formulate policies to address the impact of waste and chemicals on the country's fragile environment, and human health.