Bello, a medical officer with Adamawa German Medical Centre, Yola, told our correspondent , in Jos , that consuming the delicacy could also affect consumers’ livers and the central nervous system.
“Most butchers try to cut cost; instead of using fire wood to burn the hairs off the cow skin, they use tyres which they see as faster and cheaper.
“This attitude is dangerous because the health implications are very massive since these tyres contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury, carbon monoxide and conium.
“These combined chemicals are toxic and hides processed with them absorb them; consumers of such hides ingest them and this is extremely dangerous to humans,’’ she said.
She said that with constant consumption of the hide processed by such means, the heavy metals accumulate in the system, become excess and could lead to kidney failure when the foreign toxic exceeds the body’s toxic level.
“It does not happen suddenly; it takes a little while and could also lead affect the liver, the central nervous system and the Intelligence quotient of a child,’’ she explained.
Bello said that aside the direct consumption of hides, individuals could suffer similar effect of burnt tyres if it rains as the residues are washed into the soil and into various water sources.
“When such waters are consumed by humans, the effect will be the same as if the individual consumed the cowhide processed by the use of tyre,” she explained.
Bello further disclosed that the burning process also leads to air pollution which could trigger asthma attacks in asthmatic patients.
“It could also lead to serious respiratory infections, especially in children, due to the thick smoke and smell it produces,’’ she said.
The expert urged concerned authorities and stakeholders to take a special interest in the manner cow hide was being processed in view of the large number of persons consuming it.
“I will suggest that a special team be set up to visit the abattoirs to halt the trend of processing edibles with tyres since the health effects are enormous,’’ she said