Better news for DE users

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Diatomaceous Earth (DE) products for use as biocides to control insects, mites etc could be back on the shelves in the near future, thanks to Rentokil.
Following the publication of Pest Issue 41, the October & November edition, Jim Kirk, commercial manager at the Rentokil-owned RIS manufacturing plant, contacted Pest with some good news.

Contrary to our report that there was only one Article 95 listed supplier, it turns out that there are actually three companies on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) official Article 95 list. These are Biofa, based in Germany, Evonik Resource Efficiency, also from Germany and the UK’s Rentokil Initial.

How can this be? Don’t ask! We tried to make sense of the 160-page ECHA Article 95 supplier list and asked HSE to check our copy but, the entirely random nature of the list, caught us all out.

Rentokil Initial logo

Silicon (or in German silicium) dioxide is listed under three separate headings as being notified and supported through the EU biocides review as a Type 18 biocide (ie an insecticide, acaricide and/or product to control other arthropods). These are:

  1. Silicium dioxide (Silicium dioxide/Kieselguhr) from Biofa;
  2. Silicon dioxide (as a nanomaterial formed by aggregates and agglomerates) from Evonik Resource Efficiency and Rentokil Initial;
  3. Silicon dioxide (Synthetic amorphous silicon dioxide (as a nanomaterial in the form of stable aggregated particles of particle size > 1?m, with primary particles of nanosize)) from Rentokil Initial.

The Biofa notification was a late comer, only being notified on 31 July 2015, whereas Rentokil and Evonik have been on the list since September 2014 and both companies have been part of the review programme since around 2000.

Jim explained that until recently, Rentokil had a silicon dioxide product for cockroach control used by its in-house technicians but, when that was superseded by the more effective insecticidal gels, production ceased.

Rentokil Initial has since invested further in the silicon dioxide dossier and has full Biocides Regulation (BPR) approval for this active substance. It even has a European Community number, EC: 231-545-4, for the synthetic amorphous silicon dioxide active listed in point 3 above.

The silicon dioxide active substance from the other two companies does not have an EC number, which means that, whilst the dossier is lodged, they have not gained approval under BPR.

Rentokil is in negotiation to supply its active substance to a number of product formulators with a view to the formulators bringing silicon dioxide based products to market in the relatively near future.

In the meantime if you do have stocks any DE biocidal products purchased before 1 September 2015 then you can continue to use them. Article 95 is purely concerned with ‘the making available on the market’ i.e. selling products. It says nothing about use.

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