The Pesticides Management Code
Ensuring improved conditions for health and the
The Pesticides Management Code sets standards to control the use and sale of
pesticides. This regulation aims at limiting the harmful effects of pesticides
on human health – especially on the health of children – and on the environment.
The environmental management approach that it advocates limits the non-essential
use of pesticides to the bare essentials in matters of lawn maintenance.
Childcare centres, elementary and secondary schools have to be as free as
possible from pesticides.
The Pesticides Management Code follows the
recommendations of the Groupe de réflexion sur les pesticides en milieu
urbain, whose mandate was to discover means of reducing Quebecers’
dependence on and exposure to the products used for green space maintenance.
In the March 2002 report entitled "Pour
la protection de la santé et de l’environnement, la gestion environnementale
en milieu urbain", the focus group made nearly fifteen main
recommendations. Among these, the adoption of the Pesticides Management Code
was considered essential to reach these objectives in urban environments.
Though pesticides may be useful in certain cases, we must nonetheless
recognize that they are noxious, and acknowledge that we must take steps to
limit their use. When these products must be used, it should not compromise
our health or environment in any way.
Above all, we need a healthy and
clean environment. Through the Pesticides Management Code, we are therefore
asked, individually and collectively, to use pesticides in a responsible
manner and to choose alternative means whenever possible.
Why the government intervenes in the use of
To protect human health
can comprise human health. Children are particularly vulnerable to the noxious
effects of pesticides due to their physiology (e.g.: undeveloped immune system
and more permeability skin) and higher exposure level that results from their
behaviour (e.g.: tendency to put objects in their mouth). Pets are also
vulnerable to these products.
Pesticides are absorbed by the body, particularly by way of the mouth, skin
and through respiratory system. They can trigger immediate effects, which are
usually manifested by symptoms such as headaches, skin or eye irritation, nausea,
dizziness, loss of appetite and fatigue.
Pesticide use often causes water, air and contamination soil. When organisms
that are not targeted by the application of these products are exposed to them,
the result is a negative impact on biodiversity.
Highlights of the Pesticides Management Code
Under the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use
of pesticides, the Pesticides Management Code introduces rules for the sale and
use of pesticides to permit and certificate holders. Commercial and private
users include farmers and forest managers. Certain provisions concern citizens,
notably the observance of minimum distances from bodies of water and streams.
More specifically, the most important elements of the project are:
Pesticide Use Rules:
- it is prohibited to use certain pesticides on the lawns of private and
commercial green spaces, public, semi-public and municipal properties and on
the lawns of private and commercial properties, except for golf courses;
it is prohibited for commercial users to apply on lawn spaces pesticides
that are impregnated or mixed with a fertilizer, unless these products are
stored in separate containers;
- it is prohibited to use almost all
pesticides inside and outside child care centres and elementary and
secondary schools, and specific rules must be observed when using authorized
- it is prohibited to use certain aerosols indoors;
distances must be observed when using pesticides or when preparing pesticide
mixtures near bodies of water, streams or rivers and water intakes, for all
types of equipment used;
- specified distances from watercourses and
inhabited areas will also have to be observed in the case of equipment
causing significant aerial drift (in orchards or vineyards for example),
during aerial spraying and when pesticides are used in high-traffic vehicle,
train or energy corridors;
- golf courses are required to submit triennial
plans for the reduced use of pesticides;application of information modalities for the public and the Ministère when certain pesticides are used in forests and high-traffic vehicle, train or
- billposting and pesticide warnings when pesticides are used in urban areas
and on golf courses;
- specific rules apply during fumigation (aeration, schedule, posting of
- specific rules apply for aerial spraying (for example marking the
- ground applications of pesticides to reduce adult biting insects is
- it is prohibited for all, including citizens, to use strychnine and DDT.
- it is prohibited to sell fertilizer-pesticide mixtures and mixed
packages (e.g. herbicide and insecticide);
- it is prohibited to display products intended for domestic use in a way
which makes these products accessible to the public;
- it is prohibited to sell certain pesticides intended for domestic
Layout rules for the storage, loading and unloading of pesticides:
- retention and backflow prevention system, etc.;
- distance from floodable areas, rivers, municipal wells, etc.;
- civil liability insurance for damage to the environment for large capacity
Other regulatory amendments:
Other regulatory amendments aim at:
- repealing the Regulation respecting the use of DDT, the provisions of
which will be included in the Pesticides Management Code;
- amending the Regulation respecting the application of the Environment
Quality Act in order to retrieve from the authorization procedure activities
which now fall under the Pesticides Management Code, notably the use of
pesticides in high-traffic vehicle, train, or energy corridors;
List of active ingredients prohibited for lawn
Categories of pesticides
2,4-D (all chemical forms)
MCPA (all chemical forms)
Mecoprop (all chemical forms)
NB: Active Ingredient Trade Names (Classes
List of ingredients allowed inside and
outside childcare centers as well as elementary and secondary schools
Categories of pesticides
Silica dioxide (diatomaceous earth)
Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
Conjugated decanoic and pelargonic acid
Calcium sulphide or calcium polysulphide
Active ingredients approved by the federal government
NB: Active Ingredient Trade Names (Class
3 - Classes
4 et 5)
The information provided in this document is in no way meant to replace the
text of the
Pesticides Management Code. The full text is published in the March 19,
2003, edition of the Gazette officielle of Publications du Québec.
Avoiding pesticides… a natural thing to do.