The Pesticides Management Code
Ensuring improved conditions for health and the
The Pesticides Management Code sets standards to control the storage,
sale and use of
pesticides. This regulation aims at limiting the harmful effects of pesticides
on human health – especially on the health of children – and on the environment.
The environmental management approach that it advocates limits the non-essential
use of pesticides to the bare essentials in matters of lawn maintenance.
Childcare centres, elementary and secondary schools have to be as free as
possible from pesticides.
Though pesticides may be useful in certain cases, we must nonetheless
recognize that they are noxious, and acknowledge that we must take steps to
limit their use. When these products must be used, it should not compromise
our health or environment in any way.
Above all, we need a healthy and
clean environment. Through the Pesticides Management Code, we are therefore
asked, individually and collectively, to use pesticides in a responsible
manner and to choose alternative means whenever possible.
Why the government intervenes in the use of
To protect human health
can compromise human health. Children are particularly vulnerable to the noxious
effects of pesticides due to their physiology (e.g., undeveloped immune system
and more permeability skin) and higher exposure level that results from their
behaviour (e.g., tendency to put objects in their mouth). Pets are also
vulnerable to these products.
Pesticides are absorbed by the body, particularly by way of the mouth, skin
and through respiratory system. They can trigger immediate effects, which are
usually manifested by symptoms such as headaches, skin or eye irritation, nausea,
dizziness, loss of appetite and fatigue.
Pesticide use often causes water, air and contamination soil. When organisms
that are not targeted by the application of these products are exposed to them,
the result is a negative impact on biodiversity.
Highlights of the Pesticides Management Code
Under the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use
of pesticides, the Pesticides Management Code introduces rules for the sale and
use of pesticides to permit and certificate holders. Commercial and private
users include farmers and forest managers. Certain provisions concern citizens,
notably the observance of minimum distances from lakes, streams and wetlands.
More specifically, the most important elements of the project are:
Pesticide Use Rules:
- It is prohibited to use certain pesticides on the lawns of private and
commercial green spaces, public, semi-public and municipal properties and on
the lawns of private and commercial properties, except for golf courses.
It is prohibited for commercial users to apply on lawn spaces pesticides
that are impregnated or mixed with a fertilizer, unless these products are
stored in separate containers.
- It is prohibited to use almost all
pesticides inside and outside child care centres and elementary and
secondary schools, and specific rules must be observed when using authorized
- It is prohibited to use certain aerosols indoors.
distances must be observed when using pesticides or when preparing pesticide
mixtures near lakes, streams, wetlands and water withdrawal sites.
- Specified distances from watercourses and
inhabited areas will also have to be observed in the case of certain type of equipment
causing significant pesticide drift (in orchards or vineyards for example),
during aerial spraying and when pesticides are used in high-traffic vehicle,
train or energy corridors.
- Golf courses are required to submit triennial
plans for the reduced use of pesticides.
- Application of information modalities for the public and the Ministère when certain pesticides are used in forests and high-traffic vehicle, train or
- Billposting and pesticide warnings when pesticides are used in urban
areas and on golf courses.
- Specific rules apply during fumigation (aeration, schedule, posting of
- Specific rules apply for aerial spraying (for example marking the location).
- Ground applications of pesticides to reduce adult biting insects is prohibited.
- It is prohibited for all, including citizens, to use
strychnine and DDT.
In urban areas:
- Starting September 8, 2018, neonicotinoids used to coat the seeds of certain crops will be grouped into a new class of pesticides:
- Over a two-year period, depending on the pesticide, the application of the highest-risk pesticides used in agriculture and the application of Class 3A pesticides in or on the ground will be prohibited unless
justification signed by an agronomist has previously been obtained.
- Starting September 8, 2018, existing
mandatory distances from lakes, streams, wetlands, water withdrawal sites and ditches must be respected for the application of Class 3A pesticides in or on the ground.
- When pesticides are applied by aircraft near bicycle paths that are physically separated from vehicular traffic and have their own right-of-way, the same
mandatory distances must be maintained as for protected immovables.
- In the definition of “protected immovable,” the reference to buildings used or intended to be used to house or receive things has been deleted.
- Farmers must maintain and keep a
record of their pesticide use, including information on Class 3A pesticides.
- Starting March 8, 2019, the application of neonicotinoids to grass surfaces by commercial users will be prohibited, except at golf courses.
- Pesticides may be injected to control the emerald ash borer on
daycare and school grounds.
- A pesticide containing D-phenothrin and tetramethrin may be applied to destroy wasp, hornet or bee nests on daycare and school grounds.
- It is prohibited to sell fertilizer-pesticide mixtures and mixed
packages (e.g. herbicide and insecticide).
- It is prohibited to display products intended for domestic use in a way
which makes these products accessible to the public.
- It is prohibited to sell certain pesticides intended for domestic
In urban areas:
- Retail vendors may sell pesticides covered by an agronomic justification only to those who provide a valid prescription signed by an agronomist.
- Wholesalers must
annually report their
sales of Class 3A pesticides
to Ministère du
Développement durable, de
l’Environnement et de la
Lutte contre les changements
- Retailers of Class 1 to Class 3A pesticides must
annually report to MDDELCC:
- their sales of pesticides covered by an agronomic justification;
- their purchases of pesticides that are not from a wholesale permit holder.
- Starting March 8, 2019, direct-to-consumer sales of
neonicotinoids intended for lawn application will be prohibited.
- Biopesticides and synthetic pyrethrin analogues may be sold over-the-counter to consumers by grouping them into
- Clarification will be provided on the sale of
multipacks of household pesticides.
Layout rules for the storage, loading and unloading of pesticides:
- retention and backflow prevention system, etc.;
- distance from lakes, streams, wetlands, water withdrawal sites, etc.;
- civil liability insurance for damage to the environment for large capacity
List of active ingredients prohibited for lawn
Categories of pesticides
Starting March 8, 2019:
2,4-D (all chemical forms)
MCPA (all chemical forms)
Mecoprop (all chemical forms)
Note: Active Ingredient Trade Names (Classes
List of ingredients authorized inside and
outside childcare centers as well as elementary and secondary schools
Categories of pesticides
Silica dioxide (diatomaceous earth)
Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate
Conjugated decanoic and pelargonic acid
Calcium sulphide or calcium polysulphide
Active ingredients approved by the federal government
Note: Active Ingredient Trade Names (Class
3 - Classes
4 and 5)
The information provided in this document is in no way meant to replace the
text of the
Pesticides Management Code. The full text is published in the March 19,
2003, edition of the Gazette officielle of Publications du Québec.
Acting together to protect health, pollinators and the environment