Biocidal products are a type of pesticide, just like plant protection products. They are used for deterring, rendering harmless or destroying unwanted organisms via chemical or biological means. Biocidal products are not harmless and consequently, their production, sale and use are subject to certain rules.
The official definition used in the European Union is (Regulation (EU) No 528/2012):
any substance or mixture, in the form in which it is supplied to the user, consisting of, containing or generating one or more active substances, with the intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any harmful organism by any means other than mere physical or mechanical action
any substance or mixture, generated from substances or mixtures which do not themselves fall under the first indent, to be used with the intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any harmful organism by any means other than mere physical or mechanical action
Treated articles with a primarily biocidal function are also considered biocidal products.
Difference with plant protection products
Biocidal products and plant protection products are both types of pesticides. The difference is that plant protection products are specifically intended for plant protection.
Examples of biocidal products
Disinfectants for swimming pools
Microbial cleaning products
Biocidal products are not harmless
Biocidal products are not harmless products. They are pesticides that, as the name suggests (bio = life, cide = kill), can destroy life. By their very nature, all biocidal products pose a risk to our health - particularly for children and pregnant women - and to our environment.