The Ctgb proposes to intervene in the authorisations of products containing phosphides

The Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb) wants to intervene in the authorisations of six insecticides based on aluminium phosphide and magnesium phosphide. Working with phosphides must become safer. In recent years, there have been accidents (or near accidents) involving shipboard personnel who came into contact with phosphine gases. Phosphine gas is released from aluminium or magnesium phosphide. The gas is used as a fumigant to control insects, for example in stocks of grains. It is highly toxic. For products based on these chemicals, the Ctgb is going to amend the legal conditions for use. Businesses that market these products and other interested parties have seven weeks to respond to the amendment proposed by the Ctgb as published in the Staatscourant.

New legal conditions for use

The assessment and authorisation of biocidal products and plant protection products is done on the basis of European legislation. Several EU Member States have already responded positively to the Ctgb's proposed amendment, which forbids the use of phosphine fumigation during transport by road, rail or inland waterways. The Ctgb proposes the following: 

  • phosphides can only be used on site, not during transport (with the exception of marine shipping);
  • residues of the products must be completely removed after fumigation;
  • only stocks in sealed, airtight enclosures may be treated with phosphine gas;
  • fumigated stocks must be clearly labelled as such.

Safer use

The aim of the amendment to the authorisation is to make the use of phosphides safer and more clearly traceable. This will prevent exposure of transporters and personnel to the highly toxic phosphine gas.