Public advisory

Risks of Buying Pesticides Online

Starting date:
May 4, 2011
Posting date:
May 4, 2011
Type of communication:
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Important Safety Information
General Public
Identification number:

Health Canada is advising Canadians about the potential dangers of buying pesticides over the internet.

In recent years, an increasing number of homeowners and gardeners have been looking for alternative pesticides for use in their homes and gardens. As a result, there are many websites selling pest control products, many of which are not approved for sale in Canada.

Under the Pest Control Products Act, before a pesticide is allowed to be used or sold in Canada, it must undergo a rigorous scientific assessment to determine that it will not pose unacceptable risks to human health or the environment when used according to the label directions.

Pesticides can be hazardous. For this reason, people who use pesticides in and around the home must be familiar with safe handling and application procedures. Consumers should, therefore, purchase only products bearing a Pest Control Product Registration Number on the label. All users should carefully read, understand and follow the label directions. An unregistered pesticide may be unsafe for any use.

Unregistered pesticides often do not contain the necessary precautions or instructions in either of Canada's official languages, which, in addition to not meeting Health Canada's labelling requirement, could lead to accidental misuse or injury. For guidelines on the safe and effective use of pesticides, please consult Health Canada's Fact Sheet on Homeowner Guidelines for Using Pesticides.

Consumers should be aware that there is no assurance that product claims made on the internet are reliable. Health Canada urges consumers wishing to purchase pest control products online to consult the Pesticide Product Information Database, which contains a list of registered pesticide products and active ingredients that are authorized for sale in Canada.

Note that provinces and municipalities may further restrict or ban the use of pesticides. Consumers should check with their local authorities to verify a product's status in their jurisdiction.

For more information on the status of a pesticide in Canada and for assistance with the Pesticide Product Information database, please contact the Pest Management Information Service, toll-free, at 1-800-267-6315.

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