International Programme on Chemical Safety

WHO Review of chemicals for aircraft disinsection

WHO is undertaking a re-evaluation of chemicals currently used and proposed for use in aircraft disinsection. This aims to assist Member States to implement the International Health Regulations (2005), Annex 5, Specific Measures for Vector-Borne Diseases, which states that where there are methods and materials advised by WHO for disinsection, these should be employed (Annex 5, clause 2) and that States should accept disinsection if methods and materials advised by WHO have been employed (Annex 5, clause 3).

The importance of aircraft disinsection for disease vector control is described in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

The current WHO publication on aircraft disinsection dates from 1995. An update regarding the use of pyrethroids in aircraft disinsection has also been published. The advice in these documents is adopted by many countries.

Following a period of public comment and peer review, a draft generic human health risk assessment model for aircraft disinsection insecticides was considered at a meeting of technical experts early in 2012, preceded by a Stakeholder workshop. The risk assessment model is currently being finalized prior to publication.

Stakeholders were also invited to submit information on aircraft disinsection products (either currently in use or proposed for use). These products have been assessed by WHO against the risk assessment model.

The outcomes of these assessments, together with the finalized risk assessment model, will be published by WHO to assist countries in their national decision making.

A separate document providing guidance on efficacy testing for aircraft disinsection insecticides is also available from the World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES).

Please note that an independent evaluation of the efficacy of aircraft disinsection insecticides is not being conducted. The World Health Organization does not maintain a list of insecticide products "approved" for use in aircraft disinsection. The regulatory approval of insecticide products is within the jurisdiction of national authorities.