Report a Pesticide Incident
If you require immediate medical attention, call 911. If you are experiencing symptoms, consult the First Aid instructions on the product label and contact your health care provider or a Poison Control Centre.
For environmental emergencies, contact your local authorities
or the Canadian Environmental Emergency Notification System.
All pesticides are tested and evaluated for safety before being registered for use by Canadians. To continue to monitor for safety after they are registered, Health Canada collects pesticide incident reports from Canadians.
If you are a pesticide registrant or applicant, please consult the Mandatory Pesticide Incident Reporting for Registrants and Applicants section.
What is a pesticide incident?
A pesticide incident is a negative effect (adverse reaction) to humans, animals (pets or livestock) or the environment (plants or wildlife) that can result from being exposed to a pesticide.
Pesticide incidents include:
- Effects to humans, such as skin rash, headache or nausea
- Effects to a domestic animal like a pet or farm animal, such as vomiting, bleeding or itchy skin
- Effects to the environment, such as dead fish or birds or yellowed leaves
- Problems with pesticide containers, such as a leaking container, misfiring spray can or blocked nozzle.
How do I report a pesticide incident?
You do not have to be certain that a pesticide caused the effect in order to report it.
There are two ways you can report a pesticide incident:
- By reporting to the pesticide company as listed on the product label. They are required by law to report all incidents related to their products to Health Canada. or
- By completing a Voluntary Incident Report (request a PDF version). Please choose the type of incident you are reporting (domestic animal, environment, or human health) and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide as much information as you can about the incident. If possible, include the name of the product, an explanation on how the exposure occurred, and a complete description of the effect (such as, what the effect was, when it occurred, and how long it lasted).
What happens to the information I submit?
All pesticide incident reports submitted to us are made available to the public on our website through our Public Registry. Personal information is removed from a report before it is posted.
How does Health Canada use the information?
We use all available information to assess if the pesticide was the cause of the reported effect. If so, we assess what the risk to Canadians is and how similar incidents can be prevented. We do this by attempting to answer these questions:
- When and how did exposure happen?
- Are the effects expected?
- How many other incidents of this kind have been reported?
- How complete is the information in the report?
- Was the product used according to the label instructions?
- Is the product used a lot in Canada?
Health Canada could conclude that an effect is unrelated to a pesticide, or that it is unlikely, possible, probable or highly probable that the effect was caused by a pesticide. Sometimes the results of our evaluation of an incident may be inconclusive due to insufficient information. For example, many of the symptoms commonly reported, such as headache, nausea and coughing can be due to causes other than being exposed to a pesticide.
If we do identify an issue, actions taken can include:
- Providing safety tips to the public
- Improving label instructions
- Adding safety measures to the label
To report a problem with another type of product (for example, drugs or cosmetics), please visit the Adverse Reaction Reporting for Specific Products webpage.
For more information on pesticides, please contact our Pest Management Information Service.
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