PMRA Guidance Document, Guidance for the Pest Control Products Incident Reporting Regulations

Health Canada - Pest Management Regulatory Agency
23 February 2022

Summary

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. The intent of this guidance document is to provide further explanation of some sections related to Pest Control Products Incident Reporting Regulations. It is not to be considered comprehensive. A copy of the Regulations can be obtained from the Department of Justice website.

Document history (revision/update)
Updated: Update/Rationale:
February 2022 Revised to include updated regulations
September 2007 Publication of original document

Introduction

Pest control products (pesticides) are regulated in Canada under the federal Pest Control Products Act.

Under the Pest Control Products Act, a pesticide must be registered by the Minister of Health before it can be used in Canada. Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) administers the Pest Control Products Act on behalf of the Minister. A pesticide may not be registered or may not continue to be registered unless its health and environmental risks and its value have been determined to be acceptable by the Minister.

Although pesticides are tested and evaluated for safety before they are registered, some adverse effects may not become evident until the product is used under "real-life" circumstances. One of the provisions of the Pest Control Products Act (section 13) is the requirement for registrants, and applicants for the registration of a pesticide, to report incidents of adverse effects, or scientific studies indicating a potential new hazard or risk, that involve their pesticides. Requiring registrants to provide incident reports contributes to Health Canada's ongoing collection of safety information that occurs once products are registered.

Incident reports provide Health Canada with valuable information regarding potential risks to humans, animals, or the environment from the use of pesticides. If evaluation of this information identifies a safety issue, appropriate action will be taken. Such action could range from minor label changes to discontinuation of a product.

While the Pest Control Products Act provides Health Canada the authority to require mandatory reporting, the Pest Control Products Incident Reporting Regulations (IRR) specify the actual reporting requirements, including the types of information to be reported and the time frames for reporting the information. Under the IRR, registrants and applicants are required to report information concerning pesticide incidents that occur in Canada and the United States as well as new or increased effects that are identified in scientific studies.

Incidents include effects on humans, animals (including pets or wildlife) or plants (including both terrestrial and aquatic), and packaging failure that could result in human exposure or injury. An incident that results from an act or activity that would constitute an offence under the Criminal Code is not included under the IRR.

For more information, order a full copy (Publication request) or contact the Pest Management Information Service.

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