White/yellow phosphorus rodenticides

Mr Carroll made this Freedom of Information request to Health and Safety Executive

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.

In order to assist you with this request, I am outlining my query as specifically as possible.
If however this request is too wide or too unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I understand that under the act, you are required to advise and assist requesters.
In a previous request to DEFRA, they have stated that you are the authority which holds this information.
(i) Can you confirm if the use of rodenticides containing
white/yellow phosphorus is banned in the UK and the year and piece of legislation that enforced this ban.
(ii) Can you confirm the rationale behind the discontinuation of it's use?
(iii) What advice was issued to landowners/suppliers/users of these rodenticides in terms of how to dispose of surplus stocks, or was there no requirement for holders to surrender their surplus stocks.For example was there a Government Departmental amnesty whereby the chemicals could be disposed of "safely"?
(iv) Can you confirm if any compensation was paid to those holding large quantities of these rodenticides before or after the new rules and the figure paid out?
(v) Other than the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 concerning misuse, is there any legislation for owning or storing stocks of these rodenticides in terms of criminal offences being committed for doing so?

I understand that under the act, I should be entitled to a response within 20 working days.
I would be grateful if you could confirm that you have received this request via the What do they know website address only. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future and request this information in electronic form.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Carroll

Infoline Admin,

Ref: HPHS-8EADGB

Dear Mr Carroll,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding rodenticides.

Infoline is unable to respond to your enquiry as it requires a specialist
response. Therefore it has been forwarded for reply to:

Chemicals Regulation Directorate
Health and Safety Executive
Building 1, 3rd Floor
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L20 7HS
Telephone: 0151 951 4000 (Switchboard)

If you require to contact HSE again regarding this enquiry please quote the
reference number above.

I hope this helps, but if you require further assistance, please do not
hesitate to contact this address again or telephone HSE Infoline on 08453
450055.

Yours sincerely

Helena Phillips

HSE Infoline

HSE is committed to maintaining your personal information in a manner that
meets the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Sometimes, we may need to pass your details to another government
department or public body so that they can help you with your enquiry.

HSE Infoline is provided by Connaught Compliance Services Ltd on behalf of
HSE

Tuffnell, Son (CRD), Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Carroll

Thank you for your request (ref request-62567-903559fa) for information
about white/yellow phosphorus rodenticides, which we received on 21^st
February 2011.

As you know your identical request of 14^th February 2011 (ref
request-62078-c0956ba6) to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (Defra) has also been passed to the Chemicals Regulation
Directorate (CRD) of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as we are the UK
competent authority for rodenticides. I trust therefore that you will
accept this reply as answering both requests.

I can confirm that your request has been dealt with under the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).  Taking each of your
questions in turn: 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| |
| |
|(i) Can you confirm if the use of rodenticides containing white/yellow |
|phosphorus is banned in the UK and the year and piece of legislation |
|that enforced this ban. |
| |
| |
| |
|The Animals (Cruel Poisons) Regulations 1963 (Statutory Instrument 1963 |
|Number 1278) prohibited the use of yellow phosphorus for destroying |
|mammals and came into force on 26th October 1963.  I attach a pdf copy |
|of the legislation for your information. |
| |
| |
| |
|(ii) Can you confirm the rationale behind the discontinuation of it's |
|use? |
| |
| |
| |
|We have not found any information in our records on the rationale |
|behind the 1963 regulations, though the title of the regulation |
|indicates that it may have been due to concerns over the humaneness of |
|phosphorus when used to control mammals. |
| |
| |
| |
|(iii) What advice was issued to landowners/suppliers of |
|these rodenticides in terms of how to dispose of surplus stocks, or |
|was there no requirement for holders to surrender their |
|surplus stocks.  For example was there a Government Departmental |
|amnesty whereby the chemicals could be disposed of "safely"? |
| |
| |
| |
|We have not found any information in our records on this issue. |
| |
| |
| |
|(iv) Can you confirm if any compensation was paid to those holding large|
|quantities of these rodenticides before or after the new rules and the |
|figure paid out? |
| |
| |
| |
|We have not found any information in our records on this issue. |
| |
| |
| |
|(v) Other than the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 concerning misuse, |
|is there any legislation for owning or storing stocks of these |
|rodenticides in terms of criminal offences being committed for doing so?|
| |
| |
| |
|The Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC), implemented in the UK by the |
|Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 (Statutory Instrument 2001 Number |
|880) and the Biocidal Products Regulations (Northern Ireland) (Statutory|
|Rule 2001 Number 442), require that the active substances used in |
|biocidal products such as rodenticides have to be assessed at |
|EU-level. Yellow/white phosphorus was not supported by industry for this|
|assessment meaning that products using this as an active substance could|
|no longer be placed onto the EU market. The definition of 'placing on |
|the market' means continued storage of rodenticide products based on |
|this active substance would also not be allowed, with the exception of |
|storage to be followed by disposal of the product. |
| |
| |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Although it is now some 48 years since this legislation was enacted you
may wish to consider contacting the Home Office (who were the lead
government department for the Animals (Cruel Poisons) Regulations 1963) to
see if they have any extant records that may help answer your questions
(ii) to (iv) above.

General guidance on how the Health & Safety Executive deals with requests
under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information
Regulations can be found on the HSE website at
[1]http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/index.htm

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the decisions made by CRD you may ask for an
internal review by writing to me within two calendar months of the date of
this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545700

Fax: 01625 524510

Email: [2][email address]

Website: [3]http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Son Tuffnell

Son Tuffnell

Communications Branch

Chemicals Regulation Directorate

Health & Safety Executive

Area 214, Mallard House

Kings Pool, 3 Peasholme Green

York, YO1 7PX

United Kingdom

Tel: 01904 455775

www.hse.gov.uk

www.pesticides.gov.uk

[4][email address]

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References

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Mr Carroll left an annotation ()

What a perverse situation that a "Cruel Poison" like white phosphorus can be "banned", yet under the auspices of a waste management license and an "established use certificate", legally dumped under water by the tonne,and continue to be allowed to cruelly poison wildlife.

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