PAN AP defines highly hazardous pesticides as those that have high potential to cause illness, injury or death to humans and animals or damage to the environment. These include pesticides that are acutely toxic or for which there is evidence of carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, neurological or developmental toxicity.
Generally, highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) are in widespread use in unsafe conditions, and there are many glaring breaches of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides occurring on a regular, ongoing basis – 23 years after its adoption as the FAO Code.
PAN International Criteria of Highly Hazardous Pesticides
A pesticide is considered to be highly hazardous by PAN International if it has one of the following characteristics:
- high acute toxicity (including inhalative toxicity) and/or,
- long-term toxic effects at chronic exposure (carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption) and/or,
- high environmental concern either through ubiquitous exposure, bioaccumulation or toxicity, and/or
- known to cause a high incidence of severe or irreversible adverse effects on human health or the environment.
International Conventions & Treaties on chemicals of high concern
The Stockholm Convention aims at the elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), some of the most unwanted chemicals in the world. POPs are toxic, bioaccumulative, highly persistent and pose a global threat to living beings. All pesticides formally adopted under these criteria to the Stockholm Convention are on the PAN HHP list.
The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in international trade regulates the exchange of information on certain hazardous pesticides (active ingredients and formulations) between the governments of the trading parties. All pesticides formally adopted under the Rotterdam Convention are on the PAN list of HHP.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. Currently, there is one pesticide listed as ozone depleting chemical. This pesticide (methyl bromide) is on the PAN list of HHP.