Experts from the pest control industry have questioned the alleged use of aluminium phosphide, a fumigant used in farms, for conducting pest control in residential flats, which alleged caused the death of Rameez and Rehab Chougle.
"Aluminium phosphide is a fumigant used in farms, so why it was used in residential pest management is quite baffling," said an employee of a pest control firm in Andheri.
Experts said that chemicals such as malathion, termex and aluminium phosphide should be used with proper dilution and solvents to reduce their harmful effects and residue in homes.
It is not known which firm carried out the pest control at the Chougles' flat. However, doctors who treated Rehab said that her parents had checked with the firm, which confirmed the use of aluminium phosphide.
"Nowadays, there are odourless chemicals such as delta, so people don't have to stay out during pest control work for an entire day. As far as aluminium phosphide is concerned, it is mostly used in farms as a fumigant and not in homes," said Dinkar Narwade, owner of Pioneer Pest Management, Andheri (West).
"Surprisingly, chemicals such as malathion, which is carcinogenic, and aluminium phosphide, are still used for residential pest management despite being phased out as domestic pest management chemicals worldwide," said Ashok Khatate, a former owner of a pest control business in Thane.