Chlorothalonil use banned outside of the workplace

We have banned products available for sale to the general public that contain chlorothalonil.

27 April 2017

We have decided to:

  • revoke four approvals for chlorothalonil-containing formulations used as home garden fungicides and available for sale to the general public.
  • retain a fifth approval for chlorothalonil-containing formulations but modify it to include tighter controls on its use, confining it for use by trained and certified commercial operators in workplace settings only.

Chlorothalonil is a broad spectrum, non-systemic pesticide commonly used as a fungicide to control fungal leaf diseases in vegetables, turf and ornamental crops. It is acutely toxic (particularly if inhaled) and there are concerns over its potential to cause longer term adverse health effects in humans. It is classified as a suspected carcinogen to humans.

Four approvals revoked

It is important to note that there is no exhaustive list of products currently being imported into New Zealand, or manufactured here under these four approvals. However, we are aware of the following products which, in accordance with our decision, can no longer be imported or manufactured in New Zealand after 11 May 2017. They will be banned from sale to anybody in New Zealand from 11 November 2017*:

  • Yates Bravo
  • Yates Greenguard
  • Yates Guardall
  • Tui Disease Eliminator for Fruit & Veges
Fifth approval retained

A fifth approval has been retained and tighter controls added so that products can be used only by trained and certified commercial operators (who have been safety-trained in this specific class of chemical and have a certificate) in a workplace setting only. This approval is known by the EPA to apply to the following products*:

  • McGregor’s Black Spot and Fungus Spray
  • Watkins Fungus and Mildew Spray
  • Taratek 5F

The effect of this fifth approval is:

  • Products cannot be sold to anybody other than trained and certified commercial operators, for use in workplace settings only, from 11 November 2017.
  • Manufacturers and importers must re-label and revise classifications and controls as soon as practicable and by 6 April 2018 at the latest.
  • Products supplied after 6 April 2018 must be labelled as set out in the new classifications and controls.

*These products are named in the decision document (see related content below). It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, only the products of which the EPA is currently aware. There may be other products being imported into or manufactured in New Zealand under the approvals.

If you are in doubt about whether a product contains chlorothalonil, you should check the product label or ask the supplier.

Chlorothalonil FAQs

What is an EPA Alert?

It’s another way of raising public awareness about the dangers of certain hazardous substances. We want to do as much as we can to ensure Kiwis are aware of our concerns, and know what to do to keep themselves safe.

Why haven’t you issued one before?

This is a new approach and part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we are doing all we can to keep New Zealanders informed and aware.  

What authority does an Alert carry?

It’s a precautionary measure which we have introduced as part of our ongoing efforts to help keep New Zealand and New Zealanders safe.

Are you working on any other Alerts – what chemicals do they relate to and when will they be issued?

We intend to issue these alerts whenever we believe there is a need to raise public awareness about a hazardous substance.

When will the ban take effect?

Chlorothalonil-containing products currently for sale to the general public will not be allowed to be imported or manufactured in New Zealand after 11 May 2017. They will be banned from sale to anyone in New Zealand, except commercial operators, from 11 November 2017. If consumers are in doubt about whether a product contains chlorothalonil, they should check the product label or ask the supplier.  

Why haven’t you banned all chlorothalonil-containing products?

We are banning those we know are currently available for sale to the general public. They will no longer be available for sale to anybody in New Zealand from 11 November 2017. We have set tighter controls around other chlorothalonil-containing products so that they can only be purchased and used by trained and certified commercial operators in workplace settings. Those controls also stipulate the use of personal protective clothing and equipment, and labelling and packaging requirements. 

Will the general public be able to access those chlorothalonil-containing products that have not been banned?

No. From 11 November 2017 those chlorothalonil-containing products in this category can only be sold and used by trained and certified commercial operators (ie they have been safety-trained in this specific class of chemical and have a certificate), for use in workplace settings only. Manufacturers and importers will need to re-label and revise classifications and controls as soon as practicable and by 6 April 2018 at the latest. Those available after 6 April 2018 will need to be labelled as set out in the new classifications and controls.

What should consumers do if they have chlorothalonil-containing products at home today?

Alternative fungicides are available with lower hazards, and we encourage their use. Consumers and retailers looking to dispose of small quantities of these substances should ask their local authority for advice on hazardous waste disposal. If consumers are unsure about the nature of the products they have on hand they should read the label, which will tell them if they contain chlorothalonil.

How dangerous is chlorothalonil?

Cholorothalonil is acutely toxic, especially if inhaled. The risk assessment showed there are unacceptable human health risks when it is used in a domestic setting. That is why it is being banned for home use. In workplace settings products containing cholorothalonil may only be used by trained and certified commercial operators, who are obliged to follow mandatory safety procedures.

Our role is to prevent or manage any adverse effects to human health and the environment. (As well, this information is always detailed on the product label.) We do this by setting controls around where, when, how and by whom those substances can be used.

Find out more about the rules for hazardous substances

Who do you consult with before deciding to revoke a particular approval?

Our process is a public one, and we invite public submissions.

Find out more about our public submission process