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This paint from Kansai can repel mosquitoes

A JAPAN-BASED firm has developed a mosquito repellent paint suited to Singapore's equatorial climate, its executives revealed on Wednesday.

Dubbed the ALES Anti-MosQ, the water-based interior paint by Osaka-based Kansai Paint uses synthetic pyrethroid insecticides to repel mosquitoes and other insects, such as spiders and ants

Available for sale in Singapore since the end of last year, the paint "does not have a lot of awareness" at the moment, said Richard Leong, chief operating officer at Kansai Paint Singapore.

He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Singapore Green Building Week 2016.

The odourless paint works by disrupting the nervous systems of mosquitoes and disabling their bites when they land on painted walls, which are cool places for mosquitoes to rest on during the day time.

During its testing process, Kansai has found the paint to be successful in repelling "more than 80 per cent" of mosquitoes - including the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can carry the dengue and Zika viruses.

Such a product could be especially pertinent now, given the Zika outbreak here; dengue too, has continued to rear its ugly head. Authorities have warned that the number of dengue cases may exceed 30,000 this year, which would be an all-time high.

The product is the sole anti-mosquito paint in Singapore that has been approved for commercial sale by environmental regulator National Environmental Agency (NEA), Mr Leong said.

When asked if the product is harmful to humans, he added: "We have done tests on the skin and (orally), it is proven to be non-lethal, the amount that we use, and NEA has looked at it very carefully … at the end, we got the approval from them."

The paint has also secured the seal of approval from Nee Soon Town Council, which signed a contract with Kansai for the painting of common areas - void decks, lift lobbies and corridors - at 18 HDB blocks in Yishun. The first phase of painting is expected to commence next month.