Restrictions on the use, possession and storage of pesticides by gardeners

UK and European law bans the use of certain pesticides and restricts the use of certain other pesticides. There are also requirements as to the storage and disposal of pesticides.

Which pesticides are banned?

Under European Law (specifically Council Directive 79/117/EEC prohibiting the placing on the market and use of plant protection products containing certain active substances and regulation (EC) No. 850/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on persistent organic pollutants and amending Directive 79/117/EEC) certain pesticides are banned or their use is restricted.

The pesticides that are banned or for which their use is restricted are as follows:

Mercury compounds

  • Mercuric oxide (mercury oxide) as a paint to treat canker on apple, pear and similar fruit trees;

  • Mercurous chloride (calomel) as a treatment for clubroot on cabbages and other types of brassica, white rot on onions and dollar spot and fusarium as a treatment of ornamental turf and turf for sports grounds;

  • other inorganic mercury compounds;

  • Alkyl mercury compounds in the dipping of flower bulbs and seed potatoes and for the treatment of certain cereal seeds;

  • Alkoxyalkyl and aryl mercury compounds as a paint to treat canker on apple, pear and similar fruit trees at certain times of the year or for the dipping of flower bulbs and seed potatoes and for the treatment of certain cereal seeds;

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For more information on:

  • Persistent organo-chlorine compounds
  • Other compounds
  • How can I find out whether it is legal to use a particular product?
  • Can I still use a product that has been withdrawn?
  • Storage of pesticides
  • Disposal of pesticides