Herbicide kills three people in central Vietnam

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Health authorities in Quang Ngai Province on Thursday said the death of three people in April in Son Ha District was caused by a herbicide called Glyphosate.

Tests from the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang found 14.3 milligrams of the herbicide per kilogram in a soil sample in the area and 0.1 milligram per liter in a water sample.

The officials said any amount of Glyphosate is harmful to human health, and a certain amount can be lethal.

In early April, around 50 people in Son Ha District suffered from blurred eyesight and their arms and legs went numb after they used the herbicide to kill weeds in local fields. The herbicide had not been dissolved in enough water before spraying, officials said.

Among 19 people who were rushed to the hospital, two men and a woman, died. Another had a miscarriage.

Quang Ngai health officials have asked locals to dig up wells at least six meters deep for water instead of continuing to use water directly from a local stream, which they suspect might be contaminated.

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