Biocides and plant protection products

Chemical agents against harmful organisms and for plant protection

The term ‘biocide‘ refers to any substance or mixture, which is supplied to the user with the intention of destroying, deterring, rendering harmless, preventing the action of, or otherwise exerting a controlling effect on, any harmful organism by any means other than mere physical or mechanical action.
In this context, harmful organisms are defined as organism, including pathogenic agents, which, by their increased occurrence, have a detrimental effect on humans, animals or the environment, or affect the quality of products (e.g., foodstuffs, textiles, vessels or masonry), or processes (e.g. drinking water processing, food production).

This definition excludes products which are used in plant protection (plant protection products). However, a number of active ingredients are used in both, biocidal products and plant protection products.

European regulations regarding these substance groups are the biocide regulation (Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012) and the regulation on plant protection products (Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009).

The active ingredients of biocidal products and their metabolites may be persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative and toxic also to non-target organisms.


Triclosan Chlorinated aromatic biocide
Methyl-triclosan Product of methylation of triclosan
Irgarol Biocide used in antifoulings
Propiconazole Fungicide used as biocide, e.g. in wood preservation, and as plant protection product.
Tebuconazole Fungicide used in plant protection products as well as in biocidal products.
Glyphosate Widespread herbicide whose risk potential for health and the environment is currently under discussion
Rodenticides Control agents against mice, rats and other rodents
Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone Preservatives, that are used alone (MI) or in combination (MCI/MI)


Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
Suspended particulate matter Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
Students Student groups with an even number of female and male students at the age of 20 to 29.

Sampling area

Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
Rhein Longest river in Germany
Elbe Fourth largest river basin in Central Europe
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
Donau Second largest river in Europe
Sampling sites (humans) 4 university cities as sampling areas.

Sampling period

1992 - 2017