Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Ministry of Health
Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board
The Ministry of Health joins the rest of the world in observing Pesticide Awareness Week, from September 23rd to September 29th 2012. The theme for this year’s activities is “Protecting Health and the Environment through Pesticide Management” and aims to educate farmers, householders and producers that pesticides are poisonous and must always be handled with care. Pesticide users should read the labels before purchasing, as they provide all the necessary information regarding safe handing, storage and disposal of these chemicals. Protective gears should always be worn when handling pesticides in order to prevent chemicals from coming into contact with the skin. Pesticides should be locked away and out of the reach of children.
Unused pesticides and empty containers should be properly disposed of and should never be reused as water storage containers for drinking and household use, as they can be a health hazard to humans, pets and other animals and can pose a serious threat to the environment.
What is a Pesticide
Pesticide means any substance which by itself, or in combination with other substances, is proposed, represented, or used for destroying or controlling pests but does not include any antiseptic, disinfectant, drug or preservative.
Examples of Pesticides:
Agricultural Insecticides, Herbicides, Fungicides, Household Insecticides (Mosquito Coils, Aerosols, Vaporisers, Mats), Pet Care Products containing Pesticides, Insect Repellents, Algaecides, Pesticide Products used in the Pest Control Industry, Paint based Fungicides.
How to read a Pesticide Label:
Ingredients Statement or Active Ingredients - Active ingredients are the chemicals in the pesticide that kill or control the target pest(s).
Signal Words - The signal words “Caution, Warning, or Danger” indicate the pesticide's potential for making you sick. The word Caution appears on pesticides that are the least harmful to you. A pesticide with the word Warning is more poisonous that those with a Caution label. Pesticides with the word Danger on the label are very poisonous or irritating. They should be used with extreme care because they can severely burn your skin and eyes.
Precautionary Statements - This part describes the protective clothing, such as gloves or goggles that you should wear when using the pesticide. The section also tells you how to protect children or pets by keeping them away from areas treated with pesticides.
Environmental Hazards - This section tells you if the product can cause environmental damage - if it is harmful to wildlife, fish, endangered plants or animal, wetlands, or water.
Directions for Use - Make sure that the product is labelled for use against the pest(s) that you are trying to control, for example, products labelled only for termites should not be used to control fleas. Use only the amounts recommended, and follow the directions exactly.
First Aid Instructions - The label tells you what to do if someone is accidentally poisoned by the pesticide. Look for this information in the Statement or Practical Treatment section. If you have to call a doctor or take the person to a hospital, remember to take the pesticide label or container with you.
Storage and Disposal - Read carefully and follow directions for safe storage and disposal of pesticide products. Always keep products in the original container and out of reach of children, in a locked cabinet or locked garden shed.
ROLE AND FUNCTION OF THE PESTICIDES AND TOXIC CHEMICALS CONTROL BOARD
Pesticides can have detrimental effects on the environment and they can cause poisoning and death to humans, domestic animals and also wildlife. In order to have adequate control on the use of Pesticides, the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board was established in 1979 under the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Act, 1979. This Act was enacted to regulate the importation, storage, manufacture, packaging, sale, use, transportation and disposal of Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals.
The main functions of the Board are to advise the Minister on matters relevant to the making of Regulations under the Act, to advise on and monitor the implementation and enforcement of those Regulations and to furnish such returns as the Minister may from time to time require.
The composition of the Board provides for coordination between various ministries and their agencies, which impinge on the safety and use of pesticides. The Board is comprised of ten members. The members include the Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health (Chairman); Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Food Production and Marine Affairs (Deputy Chairman); Chief Chemist and Director of Food and Drugs; Executive Director, Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards; Industrial Inspections Supervisor, Occupational and Health Division; representatives from an organization of Workers and an organization of Employers; Specialists in Occupational Medicine or Industrial Hygiene, Wildlife Management and in the Use or Effects of Pesticides.
The Board has been meeting regularly since the early 1980's. The Board has been involved in the making of regulations relating to Pesticides. These include the Pesticides (Registration and Import Licensing) Regulations, 1987, the Pesticides (Importation) Regulations, 1987, and the Pesticides (Licensing of Premises) Regulations, 1987.
The Registrar of Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals at the Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division serves as Secretary to the Board and co-ordinates all the Board's activities. In addition, the Registrar is responsible for the Administration of this Act and Regulations. The day-to-day monitoring and enforcement is done by the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Inspectorate. The major functions performed are:
- Registration of Pesticides. All pesticides used in Trinidad and Tobago whether imported or locally manufactured must be registered by the Board and assigned a registration number. Certificates of Registration are issued for pesticides that have been approved for registration. The Register of Pesticides is maintained by the Registrar, Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals;
- Inspection and licensing of premises for the sale, storage, packaging and manufacture of pesticides. Establishments dealing in pesticides must be licensed annually. An inspection by the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Inspector is performed to ensure compliance with the regulations. Premises include Agricultural Shops, Hardware Stores, Pet Stores, Pest Control Operators, Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Importers, Packagers and Manufacturers of pesticides. The Register of Licenses is maintained by the Registrar, Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals;
- Routine inspection of pesticide products in the market place for compliance with Registration, Labelling and Packaging requirements;
- Monitoring and control of imports of pesticides in order to allow only the importation of registered pesticides;
- Inspection and sampling of shipments as well as sampling of locally manufactured pesticides for analysis;
- Acquisition and dissemination of information related to pesticides and toxic chemicals;
- Receiving and acting on complaints;
- Participating with local, regional and international organizations in programmes related to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
The Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board is cognisant of its role in the control of pesticides and toxic chemicals. Its policies composed of pesticide legislation and consequent regulations seek to ascertain pesticide quality, minimise exposure, and determine a proper balance between risks and benefits from the use of pesticides in Trinidad and Tobago.
For further information, please contact:
Registrar, Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals or
Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Inspectorate
Co Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division
92 Frederick Street, Port of Spain
Tel.: 623-7544 Fax: 623-2477
Downloads - General Information:
Downloads - Application Forms for Businesses, Importers and Manufacturers:
Downloads - Food and Drug Submission Form: