Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Before you use any pesticide or biocide, you must make sure that it has been approved by the correct regulating body:
You must not use any banned pesticides or biocides.
You must only use the product as instructed on the label. If you want to use the product in a different way, contact the relevant approval authority for advice.
The HSE provides a database of pesticides (includes herbicides, fungicides, molluscicides etc.) where you can find:
and a wide range of other information relating to pesticide use.
Some pesticides are classed as POPs - chemicals that do not break down easily or quickly in the environment. The use of POPs is being phased out, and some are already banned in the UK. The following pesticides are classed as POPs:
There are some situations when you may be allowed to use POPs. If you are allowed and you have more than 50 kilograms of POPs or POP-containing substances, you must tell your environmental regulator. If you have any of these pesticides, or if you need to find out about how to use or dispose of POPs, you should contact your environmental regulator.
If you use pesticides or biocides as part of your job you must have the correct training, instruction and guidance.
In Northern Ireland you should read section 2 of the Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products
In Scotland you should read chapter 9 of the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activities (PEPFAA) Code of good practice
If you employ someone else to apply plant protection products for you, make sure they have the appropriate qualifications to do the job. If you use someone who isn't qualified, you may have to pay to clean up any pollution incidents they cause.
In Northern Ireland and Scotland you must make sure that your pesticide application equipment is tested when five years old. Rucksacks and handheld sprayers are exempt from this regulation but must be kept in good condition. From 26 November 2015 Grandfather Rights expire (they may have applied if you spray on your own or your employers land) and pesticide spraying must always be carried out by someone with the appropriate certificate.
In Northern Ireland, current guidance on changes to pesticide spraying laws, pesticides stores and pesticide product labels is available from DAERA.
Fumigation is a potentially hazardous process which uses toxic gases to kill pests.
You must hold, or be supervised by someone who holds, a certificate of proficiency for fumigation operators from the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) if you use fumigants such as:
You can now only use methyl bromide in emergencies. You must first gain approval from the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD).
If you use methyl bromide you or your supervisor must also have completed the specific modules that relate to the work.
If you employ someone else to carry out fumigation, check that they are qualified.
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