Directive 91/414/EEC Concerning The Marketing And Use Of Plant Protection Products
This part of European Union regulation has established a Pesticides Review Standing Committee which has the task of deciding which herbicides, insecticides and fungicides can be used and any restrictions to that use. Their review is ongoing and in July 2008 a further major review has listed many more pesticides which are to be withdrawn, but there have been quite a few protests from professional growers about the chemicals that will be lost - especially bulb producers.
On 5th November 2008 the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety voted for amendments to the Plant Protection Products regulation which is to replace Directive 91/414/EEC. These amendments are to change the use and remove more products which are used in horticulture, eg. if two chemicals do the same job, but one is more damaging it will have to be phased out in the next 5 years.
Some of the chemicals involved may have been used for many years, but they have not gone through the current rigorous tests which are used to check if they cause damage to animals or the environment. Due to the high cost of the tests, which must be borne by manufacturers, and doubts about safety anyway, the list has quite a large number of long used products. For some chemicals which have a low value, it is not economically viable to obtain approval so they will no longer be available, eg. Ammonium Sulphamate.
Amateur Products containing the unapproved chemicals - July 2003
The table below shows the list of products withdrawn on 25th July 2003, with a use-up period to 31st December 2003. They contain active ingredients that no longer have approval for use by amateur gardeners in plant protection. The trade names on the list may continue to be used with a different formulation of ingredients which have approval, eg. Verdone Plus became Verdone Extra (fluroxypyr, clopyralid and MCPA)
Further details and up-to-date information can be found at the Pesticide Safety Directive web-site.
Six of the chemicals involved in this list are:-
1 Dichlorprop - a selective weedkiller.
2 Dikegulac - a growth inhibitor.
3 Resmethrin - a type I pyrethroid insecticide.
4 2,3-6-TBA - a selective weedkiller.
5 Tar Acids - found in insecticide washes and disinfectants (only plant protection purposes withdrawn).
6 Triforine - a fungicide
Reg No Product Name Ingredient Approval Holder M10871 ASDA Lawn Feed Weed and Mosskiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M10872 ASDA Lawn Feed and Weed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M10874 ASDA Lawn Spot Weeder 1 Doff Portland Ltd M08137 AgrEvo Lawn Weed Killer 1 S A G M08912 AgrEvo Lawn Weedkiller Concentrate 1 S A G M06234 Armillatox (Plant Protection Uses Only Withdrawn) 5 Armillatox Ltd M07850 B & Q Granular Weed and Feed for Lawns 1 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited M05487 B & Q Lawn Feed and Weed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M05486 B & Q Lawn Spot Weeder 1 Doff Portland Ltd M05324 B & Q Lawn Weedkiller 1 Doff Portland Ltd M05293 B & Q Liquid Weed and Feed 1 Miracle Garden Care Ltd M06897 B & Q Nettle Gun 1 Doff Portland Ltd M10858 B&Q Spring Lawn Care Granular Feed Weed 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Limited M10859 B&Q Spring Lawn Care Granular Feed Weed Mosskiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M03455 Boots Nettle and Bramble Weedkiller 1 The Boots Company Plc M07783 Cutlass 2 Miracle Garden Care Ltd M09543 Cutlass 2 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited M09311 Do It All Lawn Feed & Weed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M08106 Do-It-All Lawn Weedkiller 1 Doff Portland Ltd M08197 Do It All Wipeout! Lawn Weed Killer 1 Doff Portland Ltd M05117 Doff Lawn Feed and Weed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M03995 Doff Lawn Spot Weeder 1 Doff Portland Ltd M05708 Doff Lawn Weed and Feed Soluble 1 Powder Doff Portland Ltd M07158 Doff Nettle Gun 1 Doff Portland Ltd M05666 Doff New Formula Lawn Weedkiller 1 Doff Portland Ltd M09639 Evergreen Grasshopper 1 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited M05868 Fisons Ready-to-Use Lawn Weedkiller 1 Fisons Plc M05807 Fisons Water-on Lawn Weedkiller 1 Fisons Plc M10926 Focus Lawn Feed and Weed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07468 Focus Lawn Spot Weeder 1 Doff Portland Ltd M06096 Focus Lawn Weedkiller 1 Doff Portland Ltd M06896 Focus Nettle Gun 1 Doff Portland Ltd M08643 Grasshopper Triple Action 1 Miracle Garden Care Ltd M09785 Grasshopper Weed & Feed 1 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited M08367 Great Mills Lawn Feed & Weed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M05014 Great Mills Lawn Spot Weeder 1 Doff Portland Ltd M09296 Great Mills Lawn Weedkiller 1 Doff Portland Ltd M09324 Greensward Triple Action 1 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited M05953 Groundclear 1 pbi Home & Garden Ltd M07539 Homebase Lawn Weedkiller Liquid 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07536 Homebase Lawn Weedkiller Ready To Use Sprayer 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07989 Homebase Liquid Lawn Feed and Weed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07538 Homebase Nettle Gun 1 Doff Portland Ltd M06432 House Plant Pest Killer 3 Vitax Ltd M07164 J Arthur Bower's Granular Feed and Weed 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M07042 J Arthur Bower's Granular Feed, Weed and Mosskiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M09458 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Feed and Weed 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M09459 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Feed, Weed and Mosskiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M0946 0 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Weed and Mosskiller. 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M09461 J Arthur Bower's Lawn Weedkiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M04606 Jeyes Fluid (Plant Protection Uses Only Withdrawn) 5 Jeyes Ltd M09736 Lawn Weedkiller 1 S A G M09740 Lawn Weedkiller Concentrate 1 S A G M07497 Levington Ready to Use Lawn Weedkiller 1 Levington Horticulture Ltd M07495 Levington Water-on Lawn Weedkiller 1 Levington Horticulture Ltd M05271 Murphy Clover-Kil 1 Fisons Plc M09209 New Supertox 1 pbi Home & Garden Ltd M07876 Nimrod T 6 Miracle Garden Care Ltd M09502 Nimrod T 6 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited M08736 Roseclear 2 6 Miracle Garden Care Ltd M09498 Roseclear 2 6 The Scotts Company (UK) Limited M02864 Touchweeder 4 Thomas Elliott Ltd M08325 Tumbleweed Clover 1 Levington Horticulture Ltd M08546 Tumbleweed Clover Ready to Use 1 Levington Horticulture Ltd M08088 Tumbleweed Lawns 1 Levington Horticulture Ltd M08089 Tumbleweed Lawns Ready to Use 1 Levington Horticulture Ltd M08689 Verdone Plus 1 Miracle Garden Care Ltd M09732 Wilko Granular Feed and Weed for Lawns 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M07471 Wilko Granular Feed, Weed and Mosskiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M09731 Wilko Granular Feed, Weed and Mosskiller for Lawns 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M08816 Wilko Lawn Feed and Weed 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M04602 Wilko Lawn Feed, Weed and Mosskiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M05130 Wilko Lawn Spot Weeder 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07473 Wilko Lawn Weed and Feed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M03749 Wilko Lawn Weedkiller Doff 1 Portland Ltd M06898 Wilko Nettle Gun Doff 1 Portland Ltd M04391 Wilko Soluble Lawn Food and Weedkiller 1 William Sinclair Horticulture Ltd M07105 Woolworths Lawn Spot Weeder 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07474 Woolworths Lawn Weed and Feed 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07064 Woolworths Lawn Weedkiller 1 Doff Portland Ltd M07060 Woolworths Liquid Lawn Feed and Weed 1 Miracle Garden Care Ltd
October 2003 - As an addition to this list the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has refused the re-registering of the residual herbicides Atrazine and Simazine , due to the risk of leaching to ground water. Exposure to excessive amounts of Atrazine may cause heart, lung and kidney problems as well as cancer according to studies by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Products containing these herbicides may continue to be available for 'essential uses'. National governments can submit bids for derogations in certain instances.
The UK bids for Atrazine and Simazine are for the production of sweetcorn, beans, forestry, rhubarb, asparagus and hardy ornamental nursery stock. Use in any other crop or situation is banned.
In the Republic of Ireland they can continue to be used until 30th June 2007 under an 'essential use' category, but in any other crop or situation, their use is now illegal. The 'essential uses' are:-
Atrazine, for forestry and maize.
Simazine - for use on potatoes, field beans, rhubarb, asparagus, soft fruit, tree fruit and ornamental/amenity.
At around the same time EU Directive 76/769/EEC ammended by Directive 94/60/EC banned the use of Creosote. Wood treated with creosote and other coal tar distillates, may NOT be used as follows:
- inside buildings, whatever their purpose
- in toys
- in playgrounds
- in parks, gardens, and outdoor recreational leisure facilities where there is a risk of frequent skin contact
- in the manufacture of garden furniture such as picnic tables,
- for the manufacture and use and any re-treatment of:
- containers intended for growing purposes
- packaging that may come into contact with raw materials, intermediate or finished products destined for human and/or animal consumption
- other materials which may contaminate the products mentioned above.
This means that the use of such treated railway sleepers is severely restricted and should no longer be used in the garden unless out of reach - but which part of a garden is out of the reach of playing children? There are alternatives like hardwoods (eg. oak), pressure treated, and salt treated woods.
A derogation of the Directive allows Coal tar distillates to be used below certain concentrations by professionals in industry such as:
- on railways
- in electric power transmission and telecommunications
- for fencing
- for agricultural purposes (eg. stakes for tree support)
Coal tar distillates contain Benzo-a-pyrene (BaP) and water extractable phenols which are carcinogenic. The concentration of these permitted in the materials used in industry are:
- in harbours and waterways
BaP at a concentration of less than 0.005% by mass and water extractable phenols at a concentration of less than 3% by mass. They may only be sold in quantities greater than 20 litres to those permitted to use them, but not to ordinary consumers.
The penalties for not adhering to these rules are a fine of up to £5,000 in a Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine if convicted in a Crown Court. This link is a government release of frequently asked questions on creosote
In the UK the Health and Safety Executive give up to date information on biologically active products on their website
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