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What you need to do

The definition of pesticides includes plant protection products and biocides.

The placing on the market, storage and use of all pesticides are strictly controlled. The key issues are:

What you need to know

Pesticides may be hazardous substances under the COSHH Regulations

Plant protection products (PPPS) form a wide group of products including fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and growth regulators. If you use PPPs as part of your job you should read the Code of Practice for using plant protection products which tells you safe ways to store, transport, handle and use pesticides.

Biocides also include a wide range of products including rodenticides, disinfectants, wood and other preservatives, biocidal paints, surface cleaners, pest control products, etc. For further information on the safe ways to store and use biocides visit the biocide webpages.

For information and links to guidance on the use of rodenticides see Rodenticides and biocides legislation

Only buy pesticides that have been approved for storage and use in the UK. Look for the MAFF, MAPP or HSE approval number on the label on the container. Beware of all offers of cheap pesticides, as these may be illegal unapproved products. You can find lists of approved products on the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) website. (CRD is an agency of HSE.)

Storing and transporting pesticides

Store all pesticides in their original containers with the approved product labels. Never decant pesticides into drinks bottles or other similar containers.

HSE’s Agricultural Information Sheet AIS16 Guidance for storing pesticides for farmers and other professional users [56KB] sets out the standards for both fixed and mobile stores. All stores should be:

Never carry pesticides in the cab of a tractor, self-propelled equipment or other vehicle. Use either:

Make sure you lock the vehicle or cabinet whenever you are not in sight of it.

Using pesticides safely

The decision to use pesticides should not be taken lightly, and should form part of a thorough risk assessment. You may need expert help.

Failure to use pesticides correctly can put people and the environment at risk.