Silent Killer: Mosquito Coil

Silent Killer: Mosquito Coil


The recent controversy generated by the Dengvaxia vaccine scandal in the Philippines will see many people returning to more traditional methods to ward off the debilitating effects of mosquito-borne disease, with mosquito coils and bed nets at the forefront of protection in mosquito-endemic areas.

However, the mosquito coil that millions of people throughout ASEAN rely on for protection on a daily basis could slowly be killing them, according to a recent article in The Conversation by Cameron Webb, a clinical lecturer and principal hospital scientist at the University of Sydney (UoS).

Mr Webb says that while there is generally consensus that insect coils may be useful in preventing mosquito borne disease, there is ‘growing concern about the adverse health impacts associated with the burning of mosquito coils and sticks indoors’.

According to a 2007 study in Taiwan published in the Journal of Epidemiology, ‘burning one mosquito coil releases the same amount of particulate matter (PM2.5) as burning 75-137 cigarettes, while the emission of formaldehyde from burning one coil can be as high as that released from burning 51 cigarettes. To read more, please visit

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