Other information and services: www.belgium.be

A federal reduction plan for safer biocides

logo of the federal reduction plan for biocidal products

The FPS Public Health established a plan to reduce the risks to health and the environment associated with biocides. The plan includes a number of actions, such as compulsory training for certain professional users and a campaign focusing on practical advice on how to use products safely at home. 

Actions in various areas

The federal biocides reduction plan for the period 2023 to 2028 includes a variety of actions to reduce the risks associated with the use of biocides. Particular attention is paid to vulnerable groups: people who are frequently in contact with biocides because of their profession, and people who are more sensitive to the possible health effects of these products. 

The training of professionals working with highly toxic products is one example: professional users of insecticides and rodenticides will have to attend training to obtain a license. The training will cover alternatives to the products as well as the dangers they present, instructions and precautions for use. The aim is to provide better protection for professional users.

Over the next few years, the FPS Public Health will also be running a campaign to raise public awareness of the risks associated with biocides used at home, such as disinfectants. The campaign will disseminate advice on the appropriate and safe use of products. 

The reduction plan includes actions for specific substances such as endocrine disrupters. Products containing endocrine disruptors may no longer be used by the general public; the risks associated with products for professionals will be assessed and monitored.

As with antibiotics, the careless use of disinfectants can lead to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, rendering the product ineffective. For this reason, the FPS Public Health will be holding consultations with producers to improve the labelling and packaging of biocides and thus promote good practice (proper dosage and use).

The plan also includes actions aimed at increasing knowledge about the effects of biocides on health. In collaboration with the Poisons Centre, the FPS monitors incidents involving biocides. Information on the Belgian biocides market is also collected and published. Reports from previous years are available in the section publications. The market for the most dangerous biocidal products, included in the restricted circuit, will be analysed in more detail.

Market surveillance is also an essential pillar: the Federal Environmental Inspectorate checks that only authorised products are used and that unauthorised products are withdrawn from the market.

Finally, a Stakeholder Council will monitor the plan. A report will be drawn up after two and a half years and after five years (final report).

More Information :

Back to top