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Pesticide & Biocides policy update - April 2010

Pesticides and Biocides Policy Developments. An overview of policy developments in the EU. For more details, please contact

- The European Parliament’s Industry Committee (ITRE) has adopted its opinion on the revision of the EU biocides law on 7 April, supporting the product labeling of nano biocides, and calling for further exemptions to the exclusion criteria. The ENVI committee will discuss the 500+ amendments tabled to the Commission proposal in its next session 26-28 April – the vote is scheduled for beginning of June.

- The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled that aluminium and magnesium phosphide can no longer be used in residential areas (including homes, nursing homes, day care facilities, hospitals and schools) to better protect people, especially children, from dangerous exposures. EPA also increased the buffer zones around non-residential buildings, and created more protective product labeling. Read the press release.

HEAL’s action on pesticides and biocides

-  HEAL, as part of the NGO coalition, sent a letter to the European Parliament’s Industry (ITRE) committee members, asking for their support for ensuring a clear framework for the phase out of highly hazardous substances and coordinated action for the use phase of biocides - prior to the ITRE committee vote on Biocides. Read the NGO letter.

- HEAL in the Media: For a full overview of HEAL’s Sick of Pesticides Campaign in the media, please visit our Media Coverage page.

Your action

Participate in the consultation on the antimicrobial resistance effect of triclosan. The European Commission has requested the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) to assess whether an association can be found between use of triclosan in cosmetic products and the development of resistance by certain micro-organisms. The deadline for submitting comments is 26 May 2010. Find out more.

More information and articles on pesticides and health:

- PAN Germany published a briefing on risks and alternatives to biocides.

- US Pesticide poisoning bill strengthens farm worker protection


- Pesticide can turn male frogs into females. Atrazine, a herbicide used globally but banned in the EU, can cause chemical castration and complete feminisation in adult male frogs, according to a recent study.

- Pesticide Exposure and Child Development On March 16, epidemiologist Brenda Eskenazi, Ph.D., presented her research with farm workers in California.

- Farm pesticides linked to skin cancer Large-scale study highlights agricultural chemicals as a possible risk factor behind rising rates of melanoma in the US.


- Health Care Resource: Links Between Pesticide Exposure and Mental Health.

- Mental Health Effects Arising from Pesticide Exposure: A Guide for Healthcare Providers and Mental Health Practitioners” (3-fold brochure)

Written on 23 April 2010.



Contact person at HEAL:


Members active on this issue:


Community guide to pesticide reduction


Resources on this issue:


UK survey: which pesticides are present in your school ?