By Maureen Ojinaka
Enugu – A Health expert has warned Nigerians against consuming cowhides popularly called ‘Ponmo’ processed with flames from burning tyres and fuel, saying that it could lead to some health complications.
Mr Amos Chinenye, the Deputy Director of Environmental Health, Enugu State Ministry of Health, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Monday that tyres are rubber products mixed with organic compounds that are dangerous to man.
“Burning cowhides or any other animal skin and meat to be consumed by human beings with tyres or fuel is dangerous and it causes cancer.
“It is also a source of pollution to the environment. It, therefore, affects man through the inhalation of the pollution from the burning, as well through consumption of the animal skin or meat,’’ he said.
“The Ministry of Health has been going to abattoirs in the state to monitor and stop people who are still in the practice of using tyres and fuel to burn or roast their animal skins.
“The ministry is also planning to present a bill to the State House of Assembly to enact a law that would stop the usage of tyres, fuel and other dangerous materials in processing consumable items.’’
Chinenye urged the public to avoid the usage of rubber materials, fuel and other harmful materials in burning their meat and cowhides.
He said cowhides and the substances contained in them usually go into the animal skin while burning, and this is dangerous to man and can as well cause cancer.
“Due to the penetration of the poisonous chemical substances from the tyres and fuel into the skin of the animal while burning, it is not healthy for human consumption as it is cancerous,” he said.