Biocidal Products Regulation Update

The Biocidal Products Regulations (BPR) review of active substances for use in wood preservatives is now complete. This is quite a milestone in the process towards achieving a pan-European approval scheme for wood preservative products, a process which started over 10 years ago!

Updated Biocidal Reg – What exactly does this mean?

What does this mean for PCA members? During the last decade existing approvals under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 have continued, but now all wood preservatives must be either BPR approved or be in the process of being approved (i.e. application and product dossier already submitted).

The good news is that these new biocidal product regulations authorisations are being successfully obtained by manufacturers (at considerable expense) giving PCA contractors who regularly deal with woodworm, wet rot and dry rot, confidence and security about future access to safe and effective Professional Use products.

Safe use of Biocide Products for Professional Users

The PCA is actively supporting its members by introducing a scheme for the training and assessment of operatives for the safe use of Biocides for professional users – a requirement of both the ‘Control of Pesticides Regulation (CORP)’ and the Biocidal Products Regulations. Following the successful completion of the PCA’s assessment, operatives are then listed on the professional users of Biocides register.

During this training we emphasise the importance of identifying the primary ‘justification’ for treatment and the correct product selection. Technicians are advised about the importance of correct mixing and application, as all biocidal products have strict ‘Conditions of Use’ which are legally binding.

Economic withdrawal of Biocide Products – Safety First!

The Biocidal Products Regulations update requires extensive dossiers focused on product safety, stability and efficacy.

An unfortunate consequence of this is that economic rather than safety factors have resulted in many ‘actives’ and products being withdrawn from the market. The already tiny pool of available substances (only about 5-6 used in our sector) is likely to shrink further in the coming years, as these same ‘actives’ come up for re-review.

The aim for Biocide products in the future

It is our aim that the existence of a well-trained and regulated ‘professional’ industry, with PCA members helping to drive up standards, will enable the regulators to have confidence in how these products are used. Therefore ensuring a future in which we continue to have a choice of products available, that are fit for purpose and safe for consumers. As much as this is our hope and is what we are striving for, only time will tell if we are truly successful…

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