LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines -- The Department of Health imposed a ban on eating fish caught near the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars, which sank off Romblon, after divers discovered pesticide inside the capsized ferry, a health official said.
Dr. Rocky Marciano, assistant disaster coordinator of DoH-Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan region), said the warning was conveyed to Romblon health officials early Friday morning.
Marciano said no illnesses related to pesticide-poisoning have been reported in Romblon province so far.
However, he said precautionary measures were needed while authorities were checking if the waters surrounding the sunken ship were contaminated with "endosulfan."
Some 10 metric tons of "endosulfan" with trade name "Thiodan" was found stored in a 20-foot container van inside the ship.
Marciano referred to a website in explaining the health risks of the pesticide on humans.
The website stated that "endosulfan" could affect a person's central nervous system and cause hyperactivity, nausea, dizziness, headache, or convulsions. Severe poisoning may result in death.
It is a cream-to-brown-colored solid that may appear in the form of crystals or flakes and is used to control insects on food and non-food crops and is also a wood preservative.
Marciano said that although "endosulfan" was not easily soluble, it could stick to other solid particles in the water.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque earlier said there were "no observable signs of contamination" from the pesticide, such as fish kill.