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What is a Pest Control

Urban Pesticides are
Regulated by Health Canada

Territorial Healthy Lawns Strategy

Precautionary Principle and pesticides

The Benefits of Pesticides

What about banning
pesticides for "cosmetic"
or "non essential" uses

Integrated Pest
Management (IPM) - The Right Approach

Pesticides and Health

What are inert ingredients in pesticide formulations

  Urban Pesticides are Regulated by Health Canada

Only products that pose no unacceptable risks to health and the environment are registered by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

All pest control products used in or imported to Canada are regulated nationally under Health Canada's Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) and Regulations. The PCPA covers pesticides used in public health, urban landscapes and household applications.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) under Health Canada is responsible for administering this legislation, evaluating and accepting or rejecting pest control products.

New Legislation - More Safeguards

The Federal Pest Control Products Act (PCPA):

Many of the health and environment issues confronting Canadian municipalities are addressed in Health Canada's new Pest Control Products Act including: :
  • Providing for even greater protection for infants and children;
  • Taking into account the cumulative risk and aggregate exposure of pesticides. Cumulative risk refers to the combined risk of different PCPs that may present a common response. Aggregate exposure refers to the combined exposure from all sources including occupational, food, water and residential; and
  • Supporting pesticide risk reduction and encouraging the registration of lower-risk products.

The Act also requires that pesticides, registered before 1995, be re-evaluated against the new regulatory science.

The new Pest Control Products Act received Royal Assent on December 12, 2002.

"The proposed new PCPA will enhance public confidence, here and abroad, that Canadian agri-food, forestry and other products are safe. The changes introduced today take into consideration the views of all parties, while recognizing that the protection of human health and the environment continue to be the top priority in regulating pesticides in Canada."

The Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Health
- March 21, 2002

For more information on Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the new Act visit:

Pesticide registration in Canada is a thorough and rigorous process

Before being registered for use in Canada, all pesticides must undergo extensive testing following scientific protocols very similar to those that define the toxicology of a new medicine or food additive. It is the responsibility of manufacturers to conduct the required tests and studies according to the detailed international specifications required by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The PMRA carefully evaluates these studies based on rigorous scientific assessments.

Public health and the environment are foremost considerations when evaluating a new pesticide or examining a pesticide under re-evaluation or special review.

Health Canada's PMRA's assessment includes:
  • Any possible effects to humans including adults, teenagers, children, infants and embryos;
  • Any possible effects on wildlife species such as birds, fish, insects or earthworms; and
  • The rate and type of degradation in soil, water and air.
In addition to laboratory studies, field studies are scrutinized to determine how the pesticide behaves in the Canadian environment and the human exposure potential under Canadian use conditions. These studies include:
  • How fast it breaks down in the soil;
  • Whether or not it leaches through the soil to water sources;
  • Exposure of bystanders and spray applicators during mixing and use;
  • Research to identify whether the pesticide actually controls the intended target pest and how the product works; and
  • How the product is best used in terms of application rates water volumes, spray pressures, time of day, growth stage of the crop and growth stage of the target weed, insect or disease.
And it doesn't stop there

what follows is a

Continuous Process - Involving Regular Evaluation

After a pesticide is registered, additional studies continue to ensure environmental and human safety. Pesticide registrations must be renewed at least every five years and may be cancelled at any time if adverse effects become known. Regulations and policies governing pesticide registrations are continuously updated, based on new scientific information or research processes.

Quick Facts
The entire development process for any given active ingredient consists of up to 120 different tests and studies.

It can take up to 10 years to complete and can cost in excess of $100 million to develop and register a single active ingredient.

On average, only one in 100,000 active ingredients makes from discovery in a laboratory through to full registration.
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