Schedule: Commodity Substance: 90% v/v Ethylene

Food and Environment Protection Act 1985
Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986
Control of Pesticides Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1986

Date of issue: 7 June 2022

Date of expiry: 31 August 2025 (unless earlier decisions are made or further prescribed extensions are granted)

Notice is hereby given that in exercise of the powers conferred by Regulation 5 of the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (SI 1986/1510) (as amended) and of all other powers enabling them in that behalf, the Health and Safety Executive ("HSE") for and on behalf of the Secretary of State, the Welsh Ministers and the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland, have given full approval for the use of the following Commodity substance:

90% v/v Ethylene.

This Approval is Subject to the Following Conditions

Relevant Impurity Requirements:- ethylene oxide, max. content 1 mg/kg

Field of use

Only as a plant growth regulator in food storage practice.


Post harvest crops.

Target atmospheric ethylene concentrations

Operator protection

  1. Engineering control of operator exposure must be used where reasonably practicable in addition to the following personal protective equipment: Operators must wear suitable self-contained breathing apparatus in atmospheres with an ethylene concentration exceeding 1000 ppm (0.1% v/v; 1150 mg/m3).
  2. However, engineering controls may replace personal protective equipment if a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment shows they provide an equal or higher standard of protection.

Other Specific Restrictions

  1. Handling and release of ethylene must only be undertaken by operators suitably trained and competent to carry out the work.
  2. Operators must vacate treated areas immediately after ethylene introduction.
  3. Unprotected persons must be excluded from the treated areas until atmospheres have been thoroughly ventilated (for 15 minutes minimum before re-entry).
  4. Ambient atmospheric ethylene concentration must not exceed 1000 ppm (0.1% v/v; 1150 mg/m3). Suitable self-contained breathing apparatus must be worn in atmospheres containing ethylene in excess of 1000 ppm.
  5. A minimum 3 day post treatment period is required before removal of treated crop from storage.
  6. Ethylene treatment must only be undertaken in fully enclosed storage areas that are air tight with appropriate air circulation and venting facilities.

Advisory Notes

See also HSE Local Authority Circular 31/2 July 2000 (Revised November 2004).

Further information

Updated 2022-06-07