Although closed circuit biocides are effective in controlling unwanted organisms, they can pose a risk to health. That is why it is important to protect yourself, your colleagues and your employees.

Do not reach for hazardous substances too quickly

The more you expose yourself to biocides, the greater the risk to your health. Therefore, do not buy or use any more than you need. Ask yourself whether you are using a proper product to tackle your problem and whether there is no other effective solution. Strike the right balance between a closed circuit biocide or a free circuit biocide, on the one hand, and any other method of control that is less harmful to yourself or your employees on the other hand. Alternatives can be found in the brochure Pesticides in your home or garden? (NL/FR/DE).

Biocides? Recognise them and protect yourself

As a user you need to know the hazards and risks pertaining to closed circuit biocides. You need to know what the safety measures are and what to do when something goes wrong. The label contains the key information on the hazards and risks of the product. The user instructions, safety data sheet and the authorisation act of the product also provide useful information.


  1. The hazard pictograms show the hazards pertaining to a product. For example, biocides can be corrosive or flammable, but also toxic or carcinogenic. 
  2. The hazard statements describe the seriousness of these hazards and the circumstances in which they occur, for instance by inhalation or skin contact.
  3. The precautionary statement explain how to reduce the risks (for example by wearing gloves) and what to do in the event of an accident.
  4. The authorisation number (or notification number) indicates that the biocide is authorised by law.

 

Toelatingsakte brengt raad

The authorisation act states whether the biocide belongs to the closed circuit and how to use and store the product properly. The act also states what personal protective equipment you need (see paragraph 8).

Only use biocides for those applications for which it is authorised. These applications are listed in the authorisation act or in the possible summary of product characteristics (SPC). You can consult the act and the SPC in the .

Only biocides authorised by the federal government can be sold on the Belgian market. If in doubt, consult the list of authorised products.

How do you deal with hazardous substances in the workplace?

If hazardous substances such as biocides are present in your company, as an employer you have to guarantee their safe use and proper storage and disposal. You are also required to make a risk assessment to guarantee your employees' safety and health.

Risk assessmentbeoordeling

  • Identify all hazardous substances in your company, for example through their  label.
  • Collect information on the proper use of these products, for example through the safety data sheets.
  • Identify the risks pertaining to the hazardous substances.
  • Take appropriate measures to reduce these risks. Provide protective clothing, for example.

Suppliers of hazardous substances are obliged to enclose safety data sheets of their products. These tell you what the risks of the products are, how to reduce them and what measures are to be taken in the event of an accident.

Education and training

Make sure that your employees know how to handle hazardous substances safely. Do they know how to recognise such products? Do they understand the information on the label? Do they take proper measures to protect themselves?

  • Good training is the starting point. Make sure your employees are aware of the hazards and risks pertaining to the products. Inform them about the protective measures they need to take, such as wearing gloves. If possible, provide them with an information sheet or safety card on which they can find the information quickly and easily.
  • Good training is the starting point. Make sure your employees are aware of the hazards and risks pertaining to the products. Inform them about the protective measures they need to take, such as wearing gloves. If possible, provide them with an information sheet or safety card on which they can find the information quickly and easily.

Rules of thumb for safe use

Protect yourself, your colleagues and your employees

  • Read the label. Check the hazard pictograms and hazard statements. Strictly follow the precautionary statements.
  • Wear suitable protective clothing and, if necessary, gloves, a mouth mask and/or goggles.
  • Keep children and other people away.
  • Wash or dispose of clothing and protective equipment after use.
  • Ventilate the area well. If possible, work with an open window.
  • Regularly take a break if you work in an enclosed space.
  • Do not eat, smoke or drink while working.
  • Keep flammable products away from fire and other heat sources.

What to do in case of an accident?

  • In case of contact with skin or eyes: rinse thoroughly with water.
  • If inhaled: do not induce vomiting. Get out of the contaminated area.
  • Call the Poison Control Centre (070 245 245) or your GP. In life-threatening situations, call the European emergency number 112.
  • Keep the packaging or label at hand so that the emergency services know which product they are dealing with.
 

You can find general information on the obligation to register and on the safe use of biocides in two handy brochures: one for users and one for sellers.

The key information for a number of specific sectors has been gathered in a brochure for each sector, and on an information sheet (safety card) in poster format (A4). Consult and download the brochures and information sheets on the page Adapted to the sector.

Have a question? 

Check the list of frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Or contact the helpdesk.