Biocidal products, often called biocides, are used to control harmful organisms, and are found in such products as disinfectants, preservatives, rodenticides, insecticides anti-fouling products, and taxidermist and embalming fluids. The European Union’s 1998 Biocidal Product Directive (BPD) defines biocides as “active substances and preparations containing one or more active substances, put up in the form in which they are supplied to the user, intended to destroy, deter, render harmless, prevent the action of or otherwise exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism by chemical or biological means.”

Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament controls the placement of biocidal products on the market through the BPD in order to protect humans, animals and the environment. The BPD also aims to standardize and control the European biocidal market so that the regulation of biocidalproducts can be harmonized within the EU.  At present, there are over 200 existing active substances being evaluated under the BPD‘s Review Program to ensure these pesticides pose negligible risks to human health and the environment.

In Ireland, the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAF) is the authority for biocide legislation implementation. EU directive 98/8/EC is given effect in the Irish law by Statutory Instrument S.I. No. 625 of 2001. In order to register a biocide, Irish citizens and companies would need to contact the Pesticide Registration and Control Division of DAF in Celbridge, County Kildare.

On the 19 January 2012, the European Parliament voted to implement stricter safety standards on all biocides within the EU in an attempt to increase health safety and standardization.

Entry by Madeleine Kuhns


uropean Commission. 1998. “Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market.”

European Commission. 2011. “Competent authorities and other Contact Points in relation to Directive 98/8/EC on Biocidal Products.”

European Commission. 2011. “List of participants/applicants to the Review Programme of existing active substances used in biocidal products (Substances classified by product- types).”

New Europe. 2012. “EP demands tougher control on pesticides.” 19 January. Online:

Republic of Ireland. “Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine: Biocides” Accessed January 24, 2012.

Previous articleDistributive Justice Next articleTar Sands

No comments yet, add your own below

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title="">
<acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i><q cite=""><strike> <strong>