A biocidal product (or biocide) can be a pesticide or an antimicrobial containing or generating an active substance(s) that is used to prevent or control various types of harmful or unwanted organisms.
Such products include disinfectants, preservatives, insect repellents, rodenticides and insecticides. Biocides control the intended target organism by a chemical or biological action. Biocides can be used by professionals and members of the public in a wide spectrum of use areas that are classified into product-types. To make sure the use of biocidal products do not have unacceptable risks for people, non-target animals and the environment, they are regulated to control their marketing, sale and use in order to minimise any risk.
The Pesticide Registration and Controls Divisions and the Pesticide Control Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) are responsible for implementing the regulatory system for plant protection and biocidal products (these latter include disinfectants, preservatives, pest control products, antifoulants, etc.).
Biocidal products can only be distributed and used in Ireland if they have been notified to or authorised by the Irish Competent Authority (The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine).