Report exposure to pesticides
When people, animals or the environment are affected by exposure to pesticides in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) this does not include Northern Ireland, it should be reported to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
If the exposure has occurred in Northern Ireland visit the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) website.
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.
The first thing you should do is seek appropriate medical advice.
If you think you or your family has been affected by pesticides, or you feel unwell or are worried about your health after being exposed to pesticides, you should seek immediate medical advice.
Use www.nhs.uk for advice or to find a service like an NHS walk-in centre, GP or hospital near you
If you think your pet, livestock or another animal has been made ill by pesticides you should seek immediate veterinary advice.
Try to provide the medical / veterinary staff with as much information as you can about the pesticide 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 pesticides when ill health is caused by:
- one-off exposure to a large amount of a pesticide – the symptoms in these cases are more likely to be immediate
- long-term repeated exposure to small amounts of a pesticide – the symptoms in these cases may be delayed and more difficult to recognise as being caused by exposure to plant protection products
If the exposure has occurred in Great Britain the table below will help you find out which of the authorities you should report it to.
|If the incident / concern involves…||…it should be reported to…|
|people – where someone has used a plant protection product at your home as part of their work such as a professional pest controller||HSE Enforcement microsite|
|people – where someone has used a plant protection product at your home not as part of their work such as yourself, or another member of the general public||your local authority|
|people – other than the scenarios described above||either HSE Enforcement microsite or your local authority depending on the type of place involved –
see a full list of places and who has the enforcing responsibility
|animals, including wildlife, livestock and pets / companion animals||Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme
Telephone: 0800 321 600
|the environment||Environment Agency in England
Telephone: 0800 80 70 60
|Natural Resources Wales in Wales
Telephone: 0300 065 3000
|Scottish Environment Protection Agency in Scotland
Telephone: 03000 99 66 99
Information you should provide
Whichever authority you are reporting to, you should provide them with as much information as you can about the pesticide product or treatment involved, including:
- product name
- active substance
- authorisation number eg MAPP XXXXX or MAFF XXXXX
- when, where and how the exposure happened
- how long the exposure lasted
- whether there were any relevant extreme weather conditions at the time eg high winds, very hot / cold day
- effects of the exposure eg report from medial / veterinary professional
You should be able to get information about the product from:
- the product label
- the person who carried out the treatment eg professional pest controller
- the manufacturer
- the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) – this can be requested from the manufacturer
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:
- lead to enforcement action where there is clear evidence of a breach of the law
- prompt the reassessment of authorised products to prevent further incidents