Severely Hazardous Pesticide Formulations (SHPFs)

Understanding the threats and notifying the Convention

Pesticides present dangers for all those coming into contact with them. When applied, they can kill insects and noxious plants as well as causing severe acute and chronic impacts on human health and the environment.

Studies have linked pesticides to diseases ranging from cancer, Alzheimer's, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and even birth defects.

Pesticides can make their way into waterways contaminating them with chemicals and subsequently fish and other animals may become sick or die. This can throw the whole ecosystem off balance.Farmers and farm workers often do not protect themselves sufficiently from direct exposure during pesticide application, as the socio-economic and climatic conditions under which they live often do not allow them to buy or wear protective clothing.Often female farmers and workers or even young adults are involved in this activity. They are at high risk to acute pesticide poisoning.

AllPartiesfrom developing countries or countries with transitioning economiesmay report any problems experienced by Severely Hazardous Pesticides Formulations to the Rotterdam Convention. The Secretariatwill then consider these substances for inclusion in Annex III of the Convention, also known as the PIC list.

Developing countries suffer disproportionately from the negative impacts of pesticides. Although they use just 25% of the world’s pesticide production, they suffer the majority of incidents of pesticide poisoning and 99% of pesticide-related deaths.Article 6 of the Convention sets out to encourage information sharing. Through it, incidents of pesticide poisoning caused by SHPFs can be shared with other countries, including those likely to experience similar problems. The goal is to alert countries to potential risks and to submit new proposals for pesticide formulations causing problems under national conditions of use for inclusion in the PIC list.

The SHPF programme currently focuses on the reporting of human health incidents. The Secretariat, in partnership with World Health Organization (WHO), Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and local NGOs, offers Parties the opportunity to receive technical assistance in setting up a monitoring and reporting programme.

An SHPF kit is available containing information on reports of poisonings. The kit provides guidance and advice on how to monitor and report such incidents to the Secretariat.

The procedures related to making proposals for SHPFs are outlined here.

The SHPFs currently included in Annex III of the Convention and the proposals currently under consideration for inclusion in Annex III are available here