No pesticide spraying while flyers are on board: NGT

Heeding to the plea of a United States-based neurologist, the National Green Tribunal Monday directed the Centre to ensure that no disinfectant fumigation is carried out in aircraft while passengers are onboard.

PTI| Updated: Aug 03, 2015, 15:58 PM IST

New Delhi: Heeding to the plea of a United States-based neurologist, the National Green Tribunal Monday directed the Centre to ensure that no disinfectant fumigation is carried out in aircraft while passengers are onboard.

"You are supposed to kill mosquitoes not the human beings. You cannot take risk with the health of the people.

"Carry out the disinfectant fumigation prior to loading of passengers or when the aircraft is empty," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The green panel directed the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to issue neccessary directions in this regard.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Dr Jai Kumar, a neurologist and director of the Primary Stroke Centre at Baylor Hospital in Texas.

Kumar had contended that spraying of pesticides on planes with chemicals like phenothrin, an organo-phosphorus neurotoxin, was injurious to human health as their use carries risk of causing cancer and auto-immune diseases like lupus, Parkinson's disease and memory loss.

According to the petitioner, while all other airlines have stopped spraying of pesticides, this practice is prevalent in all the Indian airlines operating internationally.