File Ref: ENQ-32428-Z4Q8P1
13 October 2017
Via: [FYI request #6561 email]
Dear Mrs Black
Official Information Act Request
I refer to your request for information received on 18 September 2017 regarding brodifacoum,
specifically the product Pestoff Rodent Bait 20R. Your request has been treated as a request for
information under the Official Information Act 1982.
We understand that you have also sent the same request to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
MPI will be responding to your questions 1(b), 1(c) and 3 in your original request, and the EPA will be
responding to the remaining questions. We do not have any further information to add to MPI’s
Your questions and our responses are below
1a. Brodifacoum products sold world-wide states that it is hazardous to aquatic life on their
labels/Code of Practices. This is omitted from this New Zealand cautionary warning label and
Code of Practice. Why is that? Please provide relevant documentation that explains the decision
to allow Pestoff 20R being placed into New Zealand waterways/riverbeds and why this is omitted
from the NZ label.
Pestoff Rodent Bait 20R is a product that was originally approved under the Pesticides Act 1979
and transferred into the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO) in 2004
via a legislative instrument known as a Transfer Notice. The Transfer Notice sets out all of the
controls on certain approvals which were brought into the new HSNO regime, and Pestoff is one
of those. The Transfer Notice and the Controls for Pestoff Rodent Bait 20R are available on the
EPA website using the links below.
Transfer notice: http://www.epa.govt.nz/Publications/Transfer-Notice-141-2004.pdf.
The label for Pestoff Rodent Bait 20R includes its hazard classification ‘9.1D’, meaning that the
substance is slightly harmful to the aquatic environment. As Pestoff is a vertebrate toxic agent, the
Transfer Notice and controls focussed the labelling requirements on the harm to vertebrates.
The controls require measures to protect the environment to be included on the label. There are
instructions on the label designed to prevent spillage of the product from entering streams and
waterways. The controls specify that an aircraft carrying out an application must not, when flying
to or from the area where the substance is applied, fly over a public drinking water supply, or a
waterway that is less than 100 metres upstream of a point of extraction from a water source for a
drinking water supply.
2. “Do not breathe dust" is stated on the NZ brodifacoum cautionary label. What distance does EPA
think is sufficient during an aerial application to ensure public safety? For example 5-100 meters
from a housing area? Please provide documentation that clarifies/justifies this warning statement.
And who would be the reinforcement agency for any immediate breaches?
The HSNO controls on the Pestoff product require that steps to prevent harm to human health are
included on the label. The warning on the label regarding inhalation of dust, along with the other
warnings on the label to prevent harm to human safety, are included by the manufacturer as a
result of this control.
The warnings on the label regarding dust inhalation are designed primarily for users of the
substances who work within close proximity to dust through handling open bags and containers in
confined spaces and around aircraft. There are controls in place to ensure that members of the
public do not come into contact with such areas. Loading and storage areas for an aerial
application must be decontaminated or fenced to prevent people inadvertently entering the area,
and signs must be placed at the perimeters of the fences. The relevant enforcement agency for
the enforcement of hazardous substances legislation in places of work is WorkSafe NZ. The
Territorial Authority is responsible for enforcement in other premises such as public places.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Frances Charlett-Green on [email address]
or 04 474 5533.
Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Environmental Protection Authority