FAO/WHO JMPM Guidelines on Highly Hazardous Pesticides

A considerable proportion of the pesticides still being used in the world can be considered highly hazardous, because they have a high acute toxicity, have known chronic toxic effects even at very low exposure levels, or are very persistent in the environment or in organisms, for example.

In particular in developing countries, Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) may pose significant risks to human health or the environment, because risk reduction measures such as the use of personal protective equipment or maintenance and calibration of pesticide application equipment are not easily implemented or are not effective.

The Guidelines include information on the Identification of HHPs. The Guidelines set forth the following eight criteria for identifying HHPs (i.e., HHPs should be defined as having one or more of the following characteristics):

  • Criterion 1: Pesticide formulations that meet the criteria of classes Ia or Ib of the WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard (http://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/pesticides_hazard/en/);
  • Criterion 2: Pesticide active ingredients and their formulations that meet the criteria of carcinogenicity Categories 1A and 1B of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) (http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/ghs/ghs_welcome_e.html);
  • Criterion 3: Pesticide active ingredients and their formulations that meet the criteria of mutagenicity Categories 1A and 1B of the GHS;  
  • Criterion 4: Pesticide active ingredients and their formulations that meet the criteria of reproductive toxicity Categories 1A and 1B of the GHS; 
  • Criterion 5: Pesticide active ingredients listed by the Stockholm Convention in its Annexes A and B, and those meeting all the criteria in paragraph 1 of Annex D of the Convention (http://chm.pops.int/default.aspx);
  • Criterion 6: Pesticide active ingredients and formulations listed by the Rotterdam Convention in its Annex III (http://www.pic.int/);
  • Criterion 7: Pesticides listed under the Montreal Protocol (http://ozone.unep.org/); or
  • Criterion 8: Pesticide active ingredients and formulations that have shown a high incidence of severe or irreversible adverse effects on human health or the environment

 The FAO has worked successfully with Mozambique to review the country's use of HHPs and to limit their future use by withdrawal of registration. See links for futher information.