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Reporting incidents of exposure / possible adverse reactions to biocides

If you, your family, your pets, or wildlife have been affected by exposure to biocides you are advised to seek medical advice and then to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. The department to contact depends on the type of incident that you wish to report. For an effective investigation to be undertaken you should report any incident as soon as possible.

What incidents of exposure should I report?

Incidents of exposure can happen in two different ways;

It is important to report both types of exposure to the relevant authority.

What information do I need to give?

Get as much information as you possibly can about the product involved, either from the product label, the person using the product or the manufacturer.

It is especially important to get the product name and active ingredient(s), the approval number (if the product has one) and the name of the manufacturer. This information can be found on the label and the approval number should have a prefix of ‘HSE or BPR’. If possible have the actual product label or the product safety data sheet available. It is also important to give details of:

The information obtained from these incidents can alert the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to any unforeseen issues and could result in a reassessment of biocide product approvals to prevent further incidents. Evidence obtained can also be used to enforce the responsible use of these chemicals.

Don’t worry if you do not have all this information to hand; you should still report the incident and provide as much information as possible.

Who should I contact?

If the biocide is used at… and it involves… It should be reported to…

Factories,
Farms,
Forestry sites,
Horticultural sites,
Construction sites,
Local Authority Premises,
Railways,
Domestic dwellings inc  gardens (work activity*),
Public amenities (e.g. pavements)

People HSE (Report your concern using HSE’s online form. If you are unable to complete the online form, then you can phone 0300 003 1647 during office hours – 8:30 am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, Thursday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and a call handler will complete the form for you. Further guidance on reporting a concern is available on the HSE website).
Environment

Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for products Approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (Tel: 0800 807060)

HSE (details above) for all other biocidal products

Wildlife, livestock or pets/companion animals Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
(Tel: 0800 321600)

Offices,
Animal care premises,
Golf courses,
Garden centres,
Sport stadia,
Leisure centres,
Public Parks and Gardens,
Zoos and Safari Parks,
Camping grounds,
Domestic dwellings inc gardens
(non-work activities#),
Cultural sites (Ancient monuments/Stately  homes),
Hotels.

People Local Authority (details in your local telephone directory or online)
Environment

Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for products Approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (Tel: 0800 807060)

HSE (details above) for all other biocidal products

Wildlife, livestock or pets/companion animals Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
(Tel: 0800 321600)

* Work activity includes someone carrying out a biocides treatment for you as part of their work.

# Non work activity includes someone carrying out a biocides treatment not part of their work, e.g. member of  public carrying out the treatment .

If the Incident involves People

If you feel unwell or are worried about your health following exposure to biocides you should seek immediate medical advice (NHS Direct, NHS Walk in Centre, GP or hospital etc). If possible obtain as much information about the product/treatment that caused the incident as you can as this will help the medical staff. All health professionals have access to specialised advice and information through the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS). Once you have done this, you can report the incident to the relevant authority (HSE or Local Authority) nearest to the area where the incident took place.

If the Incident involves Wildlife, Livestock or Pets

If your pet/livestock or wildlife has been affected, seek veterinary advice.  If possible obtain as much information about the product/treatment that caused the incident as you can as this will help your vet.

The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) investigates the deaths, not just of wildlife, but also of livestock and some pets, where there is evidence that biocide poisoning may be involved.

If the Incident involves the Environment

If you think that the environment has been polluted then initially the incident should be reported to the Environment Agency (EA) or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) as they are responsible for preventing the pollution of watercourses and contamination of land. Environment Agency inspectors will investigate reported cases of pollution caused by biocides and will take the necessary enforcement action.

Actions for biocides Approval / Authorisation holders

If your company is the approval/authorisation holder or the marketing company for the biocides you should report any exposure to our approval/ authorisation teams. Please provide the following information

The information obtained from these incidents can alert HSE to any unforeseen issues and could result in a reassessment of biocide product approvals/authorisations to prevent further incidents.

Updated 2016-03-12