Reporting exposure to biocides

When people, animals or the environment are affected by exposure to biocides in the UK, it should be reported to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.

Information from reported incidents can help HSE identify unforeseen issues and may prompt the reassessment of authorised products to prevent further incidents. Any evidence obtained may also be used to enforce the responsible use of these chemicals.

Seek advice

The first thing you should do is seek appropriate medical advice.

If you think you or your family has been affected by biocides, or you feel unwell or are worried about your health after being exposed to biocides, you should seek immediate medical advice from for example:

If you think your pet, livestock or another animal has been made ill by biocides you should seek immediate veterinary advice.

Try to provide the medical/veterinary staff with as much information as you can about the biocidal product or treatment that you think has affected you or your pet – this will help them to provide the best treatment. Medical professionals can get specialised advice from the National Poisons Information Service.

Please note: members of the public cannot contact the National Poisons Information Service direct.

You should then report the incident to the appropriate authority.

Report to the authorities

It is important to report exposure to biocides when ill health is caused by:

The table below will help you find out which of the authorities you should report it to.

Incident or concern Occurred in Report to
People – where someone has carried out a biocidal treatment in your home as part of their work eg a professional pest controller Great Britain HSE
Northern Ireland HSENI
People – where someone has carried out a biocidal treatment in your home not as part of their work eg yourself, or another member of the general public Great Britain Your local authority
Northern Ireland

Your district council
People – other than the scenarios described above Great Britain Either HSE or your local authority
Depends on the type of place involved
Northern Ireland Either HSENI or your district council, Depends on the type of place involved
Animals, including wildlife, livestock and pets/companion animals United Kingdom Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
0800 321 600
The environment England Environment Agency
0800 80 70 60
Wales Natural Resources Wales
0300 065 3000
Scotland Scottish Environment Protection Agency
03000 99 66 99
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Environment Agency
0300 200 7856

Information you should provide

Whichever authority you are reporting to, you should provide them with as much information as you can about the biocidal product or treatment involved, including:

You should be able to get information about the product from:

Don't worry if you can't get all this information – you should still report the incident and just provide as much information as you can.

The information you provide will allow the appropriate authorities to investigate the incident and may:

Updated 2022-02-17