Report on Pesticide Incidents for 2014

Executive Summary

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has been collecting pesticide incident reports since 2007. These incident reports are used to help identify and characterize potential risk to humans, domestic animals and the environment from the use of pesticides.

In 2014, 1884 incident reports were submitted to the PMRA. Domestic animal incidents were reported most frequently, followed by human and environment incidents. Most incidents involved minor effects.

The PMRA took several risk reduction measures as a result of the incident report data. In some cases, product labels were modified to clarify warning and first aid statements for consumers (for example, methomyl insecticidal scatter bait products, tetramethrin insecticide spray or fogging products, and d-phenothrin insecticidal shampoo for dogs). Label modifications were also made to commercial diquat products to strengthen warning and first aid statements for eye, skin, inhalation and oral exposure.

In other cases, risk reduction measures are reflected in changes to the use directions on product labels. For example, labels for products containing the new active ingredient beta-cyfluthrin will include an extended re-entry interval, and listing of potential adverse effects determined based on incident information. Additionally, new requirements were introduced for commercial applicators to provide information sheets when they treat homes or structures. Similarly, the directions for using a clip-on personal mosquito repellent product containing metofluthrin were modified to direct the user to only clip the device to areas below the waist and to only wear one device at a time. A precaution statement will also be added informing the user to avoid direct inhalation of the product vapours.

Incident reports also contributed to several proposed changes to the product Gramoxone Liquid Herbicide (Reg. No. 8661), which contains paraquat. Proposed risk mitigation measures include making the products restricted for use by licensed pesticide applicators, prohibiting non-labelled tank mix partners, reducing the concentration of paraquat in the end-use product, modifying packaging to have a built-in capacity to measure the product, and requiring applicators to wear additional protective equipment.

Incidents involving honeybees continue to be monitored very closely by the PMRA. The number and severity of honeybee incidents reported during the planting period were lower in 2014 than in previous years. Measures introduced for the 2014 planting season to reduce pollinator exposure to dust generated during planting of treated corn and soybean seed may have contributed to this reduction. These measures included: mandatory use of a dust-reducing seed flow lubricant, best management practices for safer seed planting, and enhanced warnings and advice on how to protect bees on pesticide and seed package labels. Each investigation included evaluating hive health, collecting samples (dead bees, pollen and nectar) for pesticide residue analysis, and gathering as much information as possible about the bee yard management practices and the surrounding agriculture. The assessment of these incidents is ongoing.

Past Reports on Pesticide Incidents

More Information

Should you require further information please contact the Pest Management Information Service.

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