What is a biocidal product?

A biocidal product (or biocide) can be a pesticide or an antimicrobial that is used to prevent, destroy or control various types of harmful or unwanted organisms.  Products range from disinfectants, hand sanitizers, preservatives, insect repellents, to rodenticides and insecticides and are used to protect humans, animals, materials and articles by controlling the intended target organism by a chemical or biological action. Some biocides can be used by professionals, in a wide spectrum of industries, and also by members of the public.

To make sure the use of biocidal products do not have unacceptable risks for people, animals and the environment, they are regulated to control their marketing, sale and use.  In Ireland, biocides are controlled by Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012, commonly known as the 'Biocidal Products Regulation', and by Statutory Instrument (S.I.) 427 of 2013

Biocidal products may only be distributed and used if they have been authorised or notified.  The competent authority in Ireland for Biocidal Products is the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM).