Pesticides can pose a threat to the environment and human health during transport and storage, pouring and mixing, application and disposal. Therefore, before carrying out any of these activities all pesticide users must consider what precautions need to be taken to safeguard wildlife, the water environment and human health.
Protecting water is one of the most important considerations when planning any pesticide operation. Pesticides can reach water by 4 main routes:
- run-off from the spray treatment area
- percolation through the soil (leaching)
- spray falling outside the target area (spray drift)
- spillage of concentrated pesticide (whether by accident or neglect, this route can constitute the most significant environmental threat)
Threats to human health
Pesticide pollution may constitute a threat to human health. Work is directed at preventing and minimising this threat. Various measures are used to monitor and encourage compliance with the Pesticides (Jersey) Law 1991:
- controlling and monitoring all pesticide imports
- annually auditing pesticide retailers to ensure their storage facilities meet the requirements, and their personnel are equipped to deal with spillages. Their vehicles are also assessed for suitability, and must be driven by trained drivers carrying emergency spillage equipment
- annually inspecting all farm pesticide stores (the Inspectorate)
- pesticide users are encouraged to consider whether they need to use a pesticide at all. Much work is done to advise growers to adopt whole farm systems, which use cultural, mechanical, and biological methods before targeted pesticide use
Pesticides (Jersey) Law 1991 - Jersey Legal Information Board website
For a list of approved pesticides for use in Jersey refer to the Pesticides Register of UK Authorised Products.
Health and Safety Executive website
Certificate of competence in the safe use of pesticides
We facilitate the training and assessment of all pesticide users in the NPTC 'Certificate of Competence in the Safe use of Pesticides’. This national qualification was developed specifically for those who use professional pesticide products.
The Environment Department is an Approved NPTC Assessment Centre and provides training and assessments not only for growers, but also for all professional pesticide users such as the Public Services Department, Parks and Gardens, golf courses, parishes, garden contractors etc.
Key aspects of this training include:
- the importance of sprayer maintenance and calibration and the care needed handling concentrates and filling the sprayer
- taking account of the need to protect water, including streams, ponds, reservoirs, and underground water sources from contamination by pesticides
- the importance of the pesticide label and the ‘Statutory Box’ within the label. These contain the statutory conditions relating to use of the product and are legally binding. Any ‘Environmental Protection’ requirements are displayed in the ‘Statutory Box’. These include warnings relating to bees, fish and other wildlife as well as any buffer zone restrictions
- how to manage accidents or spillages involving pesticides
- the importance of pesticide waste minimisation and disposing of any waste according to best practice