Aluminum Phosphide Kill Rats, and Human too!


In 2013, some cases of Aluminum Phosphide Insecticide poisoning were diagnosed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, many lost their lives due to the poison. This insecticide was supposed to be used to kill insects and rats in warehouses and farms.

    It’s very effective in killing rat, thus, people started to use it inside houses and buildings. Public Health professionals and Health Care Workers started campaigning in Saudi Arabia to control this chemical. The campaign was successful to increase peoples’ awareness about this issue and emphasized on similar event happened in 2011 and no body took action to stop it. Also, in 2012, two Canadian young sisters lost their lives in a resort in Thailand, when the hotel used this chemical to kill resistance bedbugs. Death of Quebec girls caused by Phosphine


Aluminum Phosphide comes in tablet, once exposed to water or humidity, it starts to produce phosphine gas. The gas it self is colorless and odorless. The substance get absorbed through the skin, eye contact or through inhalation. Once inside the body, it causes corrosive damage to the proteins and enzyme, which is responsible for carry oxygen. The Pesticide can kill a human in few hours. It was used in Southeast Asia for Homicide and Suicide purposes.


The Saudi Arabia ministry of Commerce and Industry banned the selling of the chemical, after the campaign produced a video, which had more than 4 million views. Although, the pesticide is now prohibited in the stores, still few cases of Aluminum Phosphide Poisoning are coming to the Hospitals in Jeddah City, until now. The pesticide was sold in the black market after the  YouTube campaign (it’s price jumped from 7$ to 170$), and some claim that Migrant South Asian workers bring it with them in the luggage.


More coordination needs to be done between different government agencies to crack down the importation of the substance, as leaving it labeled controlled substance is causing more deaths in the society.




2 Responses to “Aluminum Phosphide Kill Rats, and Human too!”

  1. azbar2014 Says:

    Interesting topic, though it is a bit unclear to me how a blog reader could become involved in issue. Are there petitions to sign? Officials to contact? Community organizations to involve? Is there anyone currently engaging the Saudi government on this issue? Also, what alternatives do the Saudi citizens have in terms of rodent control and how could those be made more appealing as an alternative to aluminum phosphide?

  2. Nasir Vazir Mohammad Says:

    It is disappointing to find that the Jeddah Saudi video has been taken off from Youtube.
    It was very informative, I only found out about the grave dangers of Phosphine from that video. Just now at midnight, I have saved a family of 4. They were unwilling to leave the house where Phosphine had been spread around to kill bed bugs. I physically pulled them out from their beds and persuaded to leave the house before someone dies in their sleep.

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