Garden pesticides containing a broad-spectrum fungicide will be banned from sale from November.
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The chemical chlorothalonil is used in garden products to control fungal diseases in vegetables, ornamental crops and lawn. The chemical is acutely toxic and a suspected carcinogen. The EU has already banned its use in consumer products.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has moved to stop sales to Kiwi consumers of 4 products containing chlorothalonil: Yates Bravo, Yates Greenguard, Yates Guardall and Tui Disease Eliminator for Fruit & Veges.
From 11 May, these products were no longer able to be manufactured in or imported into New Zealand. Sales will be banned from 11 November.
However, 3 other products containing the chemical will continue to be available for use by commercial operators: McGregor’s Black Spot and Fungus Spray, Watkins Fungus and Mildew Spray, and Taratek 5F.
The EPA said its risk assessment showed there were “unacceptable human health risks” from chlorothalonil’s use in home gardens, but considered it could be used by certified commercial operators.
In addition to the products named in the ban notice, there may be other pesticides on the market containing chlorothalonil that have yet to be flagged by the EPA.
Before you use any pesticide, check the list of ingredients. If the product contains chlorothalonil, our advice is not to use it. Contact your local council to find out how you should dispose of the product.