Biocides represent a wide range of products e.g. disinfectants, wood preservatives, rodenticides, antifouling agents (on boats), in-can preservatives, used in homes, public places such as hospitals, and industries, to destroy and control viruses, bacteria, algae, moulds, insects, mice or rats. They help inter alia prevent the spread of diseases and food poisoning.
The objective of the OECD Biocide Programme is to attain a harmonised approach in the regulation of biocides in all OECD countries. The OECD is thus working on harmonising the main data requirements for biocides and the methodologies for the interpretation of these data. Current projects deal with harmonising areas such as environmental emission estimations, test methods for biocides and efficacy testing and evaluation. Identifying effective biocide risk reduction measures is becoming another important work item of the OECD.