Highly Hazardous Pesticides

All pesticides are inherently hazardous but some have higher toxicity levels than others.

All pesticides are inherently hazardous but some have higher toxicity levels than others. Those with low toxicity are the least likely to cause unacceptable effects during normal use. Therefore, products with high toxicity – known as highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) – are prioritized from a regulatory standpoint. Still, all pesticides are intensively tested and regulated around the world.

HHPs are effectively managed so that their benefits outweigh risks and their risks do not threaten human health or the environment. Certain uses of HHPs are necessary to control pests that threaten the food supply. For example, HHPs have controlled potato blight in Ireland, coffee rust in Sri Lanka, tomato borers in the tropics and weeds in rice in Asia.

Risk Assessment

Pesticide manufacturers review their products to identify potential HHPs; conduct use assessments on products/formulations under various conditions of use in specific geographies; take measures to manage any HHP risks, including potential use restriction or product withdrawal by individual companies; and encourage other stakeholders to adhere to similar risk management measures; and build capacity for risk assessment in developing countries.

HHPs are effectively managed so that their benefits outweigh risks and their risks do not threaten human health or the environment.

Like all pesticides, HHPs are regulated by national governments to ensure there are no unacceptable risks to human health or the environment from their intended uses at all phases of their lifecycle – from research and development to labeling to transportation. In addition to national regulation, the crop protection industry actively promotes the responsible use of its products.  

CropLife International is working with other stakeholders to promote risk-based management of HHPs around the globe. This includes identifying highly toxic products for priority risk assessment per intended use and geography. Any potential unacceptable risks must be mitigated by an action plan or otherwise the products should not be released or maintained. Risks are weighed against the need for the product, benefits of its use and availability plus risks/benefits of real alternatives. Pesticide labels are customized for language, use and geography.

Ongoing Regulation

Pesticides are regularly reviewed after initial approval to monitor for potential long-term effects. Products are re-evaluated over time to ensure they continue to meet current standards and do not have unforeseen effects.

Pesticides are regularly reviewed after initial approval to monitor for potential long-term effects.

In most developed markets, pesticides are regulated according to risk assessments, which are repeated periodically to ensure new factors don’t alter the analysis. In countries where regulations are more rudimentary, pesticides are often preferred or required to be registered in the country of origin or approved in a developed market like the United States, Canada, European Union, Australia or Japan. In addition, pesticide manufacturers do their own risk assessment of markets.

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