Pesticides - Best Practice Guides

Before
Spraying

Pesticide Labels


Product Labels Matter

The labels for herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators are the essential piece of information for every operator and adviser. Following label advice means:

  • Ensuring compliance with the statutory requirements which is a legal requirement
  • Using health and safety information to protect the operator from any risks associated with using the product
  • Following environmental precautions such as LERAPs, buffer strips and to avoid spraying flowering plants to protect wildlife
  • Complying with dose and spray volume information to ensure accurate and effective application
  • Understanding agronomic advice such as resistance management and cultural advice which are designed to ensure the product is effective and will not compromise future pest control strategies
  • Complying with tank mixing information to ensure that only appropriate mixtures are used
  • Keeping Safety Data Sheet information to comply with Health and Safety and CoSHH requirements

Labels also change frequently to keep up with regulatory changes and new recommendations so it is important that they are reviewed regularly however familiar you are with the product. But with all this information and with many labels turning into small books it is often difficult to navigate your way round the label to check up on some key facts about the product.

As part of the Voluntary Initiative, pesticide manufacturers have agreed to make sure label information is clear and thus reduce the opportunity for confusion. Users and trainers were consulted and they endorsed a number of changes to improve clarity. Finally new EU safety labelling standards known in the UK as CHIP3 mean that product labels have recently changed to meet new EU safety standards legislation.

So What’s Changed On Labels?

1. New CHIP 3 environmental phrases
CHIP3 covers all industrial and household chemicals and will result in new product risk and safety phrases. The changes to the hazard classifications are simply due to changes in the classification regulations and do not reflect any change in risk to the user, consumer or environment:

DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
VERY TOXIC TO AQUATIC ORGANISMS, MAY CAUSE LONG TERM ADVERSE EFFECTS IN THE AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT

To avoid risks to man and the environment, comply with the instructions for use

2. Operator Protection Phrases Come First
All Operator protection phrases will appear before the other safety precautions. ‘Precautions marked* are a legal requirement’ will appear on the container Label and any separate leaflet.

Precaution phrases will appear in the following order

  • Operator protection
  • Environmental protection
  • Consumer protection
  • Storage and disposal

 

3. New symbols
To represent the product type and LERAP classification (where appropriate) new symbols are appearing on the main label.

4 Changes to Statutory Box
The ‘Statutory Box’ used to clearly communicate to the user the specific legal recommendations – previously headed as ‘Statutory conditions relating to use' has been changed with a new ‘compliance’ phrase as follows:

COMPLIANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS OF USE AND ALL PRECAUTIONS MARKED* IS A LEGAL REQUIREMENT

FOR USE ONLY AS AN AGRICULTURAL/HORTICULTURAL INSECTICIDE

Crop(s) (if applicable)
Maximum Dose Rate(s)
Maximum Number of Treatments
Latest Time of Application:
Other specific restrictions:

READ ALL OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AND DIRECTIONS BEFORE USE

5. Directions for Use
A common structure is being used for products with the same use area e.g. herbicides to make the label easier to navigate restrictions and warnings are put first so that the user knows what not to do with the product at the outset, then moving down the headings as follows:

  • Restrictions or Warnings
  • Problem/pest controlled
  • Crop specific information
  • Following crops
  • Mixing and spraying
  • Compatibility

Bold text will be used for statements relating to nozzles, adjacent crops and rainfastness as these are areas of great importance to the operator.

6. General simplification
Wherever practical and appropriate specific ‘Company Advisory Information’ ie 'non approval based text’ will now appear only in product support technical brochures and be referenced from the label. For example some tank mix recommendations may now be removed from labels and supplied in technical brochures instead.


This guide was produced by the Crop Protection Association.

The Voluntary Initiative is a programme of measures agreed by Government to minimise the environmental impact of pesticides.

November 2004

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© University of Hertfordshire, 2011