Highly Hazardous Pesticides in EECCA countries and agroecology

Highly Hazardous Pesticides in EECCA countries and agroecology


HEJSupport provided expert support to the on-line webinar on health and environment impact of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) and agroecology held on March 15, 2021. An overview report on pesticide hazards, their health impacts, and HHP regulation at the international level was presented by Olga Speranskaya, HEJSupport Co-director. The presentation is available for download here.

It was noted that the International Pesticide Action Network (PAN) regularly updates the list of HHPs based on classifications by recognized authorities. The newly revised HHPs list published in March 2021 includes 28 new substances, compared to a similar list of 2019. It is created by compiling information from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European (EU Commission), national agencies (USA EPA, Japan), and the Pesticide Property Database. The updated list of HHPs is available for download here.

As explained by PAN, “the set of criteria for identifying HHPs also include the EU’s GHS classifications for identifying long term health effects. Pesticides confirmed by the EU as endocrine disrupters according to the new Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/605 are included in addition to the still used interim criteria on endocrine disrupting properties laid down in Reg. (EC) No 1107/2009. Additionally, pesticides that are “likely to be carcinogenic to humans at high doses” according to EPA are included.”

In addition, PAN prepared and regularly reviews a consolidated list of HHPs banned by countries. In March 2021, an updated list of 460 substances was published and is available for download here.

As it is highlighted in the explanatory note of the Consolidated List of Banned Pesticides, “The countries with the most known bans are those of the EU and the UK (175 banned + 208 specifically ‘not approved’ pesticides which are Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) and/or banned by another country, Switzerland (140), Brazil (131), Egypt (76), Saudi Arabia (73), Indonesia (61), Cambodia (60), India (55), Mauritania (52), Palestine (52), and China (51).

In 2019 and 2020 non-governmental organizations from seven EECCA countries supported by IPEN conducted a detailed study of the use of HHPs in their countries by comparing the available data with the PAN lists of HHPs. The results show a large number of HHPs used in the region. More than 30 HHPs from PAN list are applied in each EECCA country that participated in the study.

Experts noted gaps in the EECCA national legislations, which do not allow to effectively control the use of pesticides. In the countries of the region, epidemiological studies to assess health and environmental impacts of HHPs are almost completely absent. However, even fragmentary data show widespread soil contamination, mass mass deaths of bees, increase of pesticide poisoning and diseases associated with exposure to HHPs.

An overview of pesticide alternatives in agriculture was discussed that includes approaches to organic agriculture in EECCA. The overview is available to download here.

Presentation on HHP use in Armenia is available for download here.

Presentation on HHP use in Ukraine is available for download here.

Presentation on HHP use in Kazkakhstan is available for download here.

Presentation use in Uzbekistan is available for download here.

The webinar recording is available for download for download here.

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Written by Olga Speranskaya