Q. What are pesticides?
A: Pesticides are chemicals, organisms and devices designed to control, destroy, attract or repel pests. They include: herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, algaecides, and preservatives.
Q. How are pesticides regulated ?
A. In Nova Scotia pesticides are regulated by the federal, provincial and in some cases (such as the Halifax Regional Municipality) by municipal governments.
Q: What role does the federal government play in the regulation of pesticides?
A. Before they can be used in Canada, all pesticides must be registered by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada through the Pest Control Products Act (PCP) Act. Pesticides are only registered following an extensive review of their safety, effectiveness and merit. Once a pesticide is registered it is given a PCP Act registration number.
All registered pesticides are subject to re-evaluation and the registration may be cancelled at any time. Registered pesticides are divided into Domestic, Commercial and Restricted classes.
Q: What role does the Nova Scotia Environment play in the regulation of pesticides?
A: Under the Pesticide Regulations and the Activities Designation Regulations, Nova Scotia Environment regulates the sale, use, storage, and disposal of pesticides These regulations also require applicators and vendors of restricted or commercial class pesticides to become certified. In some cases, applicators also require an approval permit from the department to apply pesticides.
Q: When is an approval required to apply a pesticide?
A: Under the Activities Designation Regulations approvals are required for any treatments by air, to water, or to apply pesticides in the following areas:
- on forested land
- on utility corridors, rights-of-way
- roads, streets or highways
- industrial sites for soil sterilization
Under the Pesticide Regulations an approval is also required to construct a new pesticide storage facility or extend/modify an existing pesticide storage facility to store commercial or restricted class pesticides for sale, resale, or wholesale distribution.
Q: What are commercial class pesticides?
A: Commercial class is the designation used by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for products marketed for general use by a certified applicator in commercial activities. Commercial class pesticides are intended for use in agriculture, forestry, industry and other commercial operations. Applicators of commercial pesticides need knowledge on safe handling procedures and require personal protective equipment. More toxic pesticides that may have environmental concerns may be in this category. The sale and use of commercial class pesticides is regulated by NSEL.
Q: What are restricted class pesticides?
A: Restricted class is the designation used by the PMRA for pesticides which are also intended for use in commercial operations such as agriculture, forestry, industry but there are additional limitations placed on their use. These limitations may be due to toxicity, method of use and/or a specific risk to the environment. The limitations may involve product storage, display, distribution, application or qualifications of the applicator. The sale and use of restricted class pesticides is regulated by NSEL. In Nova Scotia, commercial and restricted class pesticides can only be sold through certified vendor outlets and only sold to provincially certified pesticide applicators.
Q: Are there any other types of pesticides ?
A: Yes. Domestic class is the designation used by the PMRA for products marketed for use in and around dwellings. Domestic class pesticides are intended for use by the public in or around the home. They are designed to have low toxicity and to pose a minimum risk to people and the environment when used according to label directions. Domestic pesticides are available in small packages and provide the consumer with products for such uses as insect, rodent, weed and plant disease control in and around the home. Domestic pesticides can be purchased by the public at retail outlets. Homeowners applying domestic pesticides to their own property do not require certification..
Q: How do I know if I need to become certified ?
A: There are three main types of pesticide certificates required by the department
Applicator certificates - To apply a commercial or restricted class pesticide in Nova Scotia, the applicator must hold a valid applicators certificate of qualification from Nova Scotia Environment.
Vendor Certificates - Individuals who sell commercial or restricted class pesticides (vendors) must also hold a valid vendors certificate of qualification.
Business Operator Certificates - Any business that sells or stores commercial or restricted pesticides for hire or reward or sells the service of applying pesticides for hire or reward must hold a valid business operators certificate of qualification from Nova Scotia Environment. In addition all persons applying pesticides for that business must hold valid pesticide applicator certificates of qualification.
Q: What is required for the storage of pesticides?
A: An approval is required for the construction of a new pesticide storage facility or the extension or modification of an existing pesticide storage facility to store commercial or restricted class pesticides for sale, resale, or wholesale distribution. In addition, there are specific requirements for the storage of pesticides by vendors and by applicators. These requirements can be found in the pesticide regulation and in the pesticide storage guidelines.
Q: Where can I find out more about certificates, approvals, exams and exam study materials?
A: Regional Offices for Nova Scotia Environment:
- Central Region: Halifax and Hants Counties - (902) 424-7773
- Northern Region: Cumberland, Colchester, Antigonish, Guysborough and Pictou - (902) 667-6205
- Western Region: Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg - (902) 679-6086
- Eastern Region: Cape Breton, Richmond, Inverness, and Victoria - (902) 563-2100
Q: How do I get more information if I have a concern about a particular pesticide ?
A: Pesticides imported into, or sold or used in Canada are regulated nationally under the Pest Control Products Act and Regulations which are administered by the PMRA. The Pest Control Product (PCP) number is a registration number used by the PMRA under the Pest Control Products Act to indicate that the product has been registered and approved for use in Canada. The PCP # identifies each individual product. If you wish further information regarding the makeup or use of the product contact the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) at 1-800-267-6315.
Q. Where can I find out more about Halifax’s Pesticide Bylaw ?
A. On August 15, 2000 The Halifax Regional Municipality council passed bylaw P-800 a bylaw to regulate the of pesticides within HRM. Information on the bylaw can be found on the HRM website. For more information about the Pesticide By-law and its enforcement, contact the HRM Customer Service Centre at 902-490-4000.
Q: What if I have questions about pests under quarantine (eg. brown spruce long horn beetle)?
A: Contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at 1-877-868-0662.
Q: What if I have questions about forest tree pests and forestry spray programs ?
A. View the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources Black Headed Budworm Information Site
Q. What if I have questions about West Nile virus and mosquitos ?
A. West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes that have fed on the blood of infected birds. The Nova Scotia Department of Health maintains a West Nile website which includes a West Nile Watch and fact sheets on protecting yourself and your family from West Nile Virus. If you have health questions about West Nile virus, you can call the toll-free information line at 1-800-430-9557 during regular office hours.