Scheduled Wastes Fact Sheet
Number 5 (revised) April 1997
The purpose of fact sheet is to help people identify any labelled, stocks of OCPs they may be holding. If the attached list is too small for you to read, please call the FREECALL number on page 2.
These persistent, bio-accumulative pesticides include DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor and chlordane. In all, there are 13 pesticides on the list of scheduled wastes.
Since they were first introduced into Australia in the mid-1940s, OCPs have been used in many commercial products, in different forms (eg powders and liquids) and in different types and sizes of containers. At one time up to 150 commercial products may have been registered in Australia, although they have been deregistered for several years now. 1 Some of the more common product names include Hortico Dieldrin Dust, Mustex 25% DDT, Shell Dieldrex and Yates Garden Dust. They may be found in small to large containers, ranging from home garden packs (such as glass poison bottles or cardboard shaker packs) to large steel drums. Sizes of containers range from 50 ml to 200 litres. While most containers will have been clearly labelled, the original labels may have since deteriorated, or are no longer attached.
Originally, OCPs were widely and commonly used to protect crops, livestock, buildings and households from the damaging effects of insects.
Deregistration has left Australia with stocks of unused and unwanted OCPs. Unable to be used, and with no easily accessible means of destruction, these pesticides are now being stored by individuals and government agencies, until a permanent solution to manage and destroy them is developed.
We do not have accurate information on the quantities of these unwanted OCPs that remain. However, we do know that they can be found on many farms, in business premises and households throughout Australia.
The longer such OCPs remain unrecovered or poorly managed, the greater is the risk of them contaminating the environment and our food chain, and of harming Australia's reputation as a clean food producer.
While these general observations are true, it is important to remember that OCPs are a diverse group of chemicals and their toxicity, their potential to build up in tissues and their persistence varies.
Unwanted OCPs are unlikely to harm health or the environment while they remain contained.
However, poor management may result in unregistered use, spills or leaks, exposing and possibly harming people, the environment and our primary produce. Poor management has already severely affected markets for primary produce. For instance, in the late 1980s, the United States banned the import of Australian beef for a short time because residues of dieldrin were detected in some samples.
Proper management and destruction is needed to avoid similar trade problems in future.
OCPs have been used in many commercial products under a wide range of trade names.
The attached list of trade names may help you to decide whether you have products which contain OCPs.
The list is only a guide and is not exhaustive. It is essentially historical and although there is a mention of the names of manufacturers, those manufacturers listed may no longer be in business. Where firms are still in business, they have ceased manufacture of these products when the products were deregistered.
Please note that some of the trade names on this list are very similar to currently registered products. Because active ingredients in some cases have changed over the years, you should look closely at the label of the product that you have in determining whether or not it is an OCP.
If you know of other products containing scheduled organochlorine pesticides that were marketed in Australia, we would be very grateful if you could provide us with details.
If you require further information, contact your State or Territory agriculture or environment protection body in the first instance. Alternatively, you may contact the Waste Management Secretariat:
Chemical Policy Section
Department of the Environment and Heritage
1 Note: some quintozene-containing products in the attached list (marked with #) are still registered for use.