Biocides all present a significant risk to our health to a certain degree - in particular that of pregnant women and children - and for our environment. That is why, if you need to use a biocide, bear in mind that you should use it with extreme caution. Pay special attention to children and other people in the vicinity, and follow the safety precautions meticulously. This should be the case even before you have bought a biocidal product!

1.1. Before buying a biocide...

… it is important to ask yourself

  • Do I really need it?
  • Is there an alternative which poses less of a risk to remove the "pest"?
  • Of all the authorised biocides, which one best corresponds to my problem?
  • Do I need to buy protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, etc.?

1.2. Buying a biocide

If you need to purchase a biocide, it's best to only buy the right quantity according to what you actually need. It's not necessary to keep stocks, as you can then avoid accidents or having to dispose of them via chemical waste!

Biocides come in various types of packaging such as bottles, containers, aerosols, wristbands, etc. These packages comply with a certain number of legal requirements, such as the presence of a safety cap. The labels of biocides also show important mandatory information in regards to the composition and hazards of the product in question, as well as the Belgian authorisation number (see section "label and advertising"). The product is sometimes supplied with an instruction manual. It is important to read this information to make sure you are purchasing the right product, making a comparison between the different biocides available, choosing the best product in terms of your needs and also your health and the environment, being aware of adequate precautions for use and utilising the necessary protective material or equipment at the same time, the method for disposing of the product safely and the measures to be taken in the event of an accident.

1.3. Before using a biocide

Before using a biocide, caution must be exercised. The risks associated with the use of biocides are indicated on the label in the form of pictograms and hazard indications. You should read these, as they provide instructions on optimum use. Detailed instructions are often indicated in the notes which are contained in the packaging. Remain alert when using these products, especially when children are in the vicinity.

1.4. When using a biocide, think of:

  • protecting yourself in accordance with the indications and following the instructions to the letter
  • choosing appropriate protection: for certain products, nitrile gloves offer better protection than rubber or latex gloves
  • making sure children are not close by during application;
  • keeping children and other people away as long as there is still a risk to them (the product is still drying, still needs to be rinsed, etc.);
  • placing "traps" such as rodent poison, ant traps, etc. in places which are inaccessible for children;
  • adequately protecting food and drinks which could be exposed;
  • never transferring the biocide to another container (risk of accidental intoxication);
  • respecting the indicated quantities because adding too much of the product does not give a better result, on the contrary!;
  • storing the biocide away after use, in a safe place, out of the reach of children.

1.5. What should be done if there is an accident with a biocide?

Read the first aid instructions on the label, in the note, or elsewhere on the packaging. Contact the Poison Control Centre (Tel. 070/ 245 245) or your General Practitioner. Other useful advice can be found on the website of the Poison Control Centre.

1.6. Disposal of a biocide 

Biocides must be disposed of in compliance with the instructions given on the packaging, and if no instructions are given, the instructions for waste disposal given by your Region must be followed. Never throw a biocide down the drain!