from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Biocides (derived from ancient Greek βίος bios , German ` ` life '' and Latin caedere `` kill '' ) are chemicals or microorganisms used in the non-agricultural sector to combat pests (such as rats, insects, fungi, microbes), e.g. disinfectants , rat poisons or Wood preservatives . Some of the active ingredients in biocides are also used as active ingredients in plant protection products (PPPs). The difference is that biocides are meant to protect human health and products, while pesticides are meant to protect plants (including those that have been harvested). This means that the type and place of use are different (on people or in their house - in the field or in the greenhouse and warehouse).


In the European Union, biocidal products are subject to Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012 (Biocidal Regulation) . This defines in Article 3 paragraph 1 a) biocidal products as:

"Any substance or mixture in the form in which it reaches the user and which consists of, contains or generates one or more active substances, which is intended to be used in a way other than physical or mechanical action to destroy harmful organisms, to deter them, to render them harmless, to prevent their effect or to combat them in another way "


"Any substance or mixture which is produced from substances or mixtures which do not themselves fall under the first indent and which are intended to destroy, deter harmful organisms in any way other than through mere physical or mechanical action, harmless." to make, to prevent their effect or to combat them in another way. "

Products that are used in the cultivation of plants are not referred to as biocides, but as pesticides . Biocides are also called "non-agricultural pesticides ".

Examples of biocidal applications are
In air conditioning technology , biocides against microorganisms are added to the water cycle. This prevents contamination of the recooling system. Paints for facade and ship coatings contain so-called antifoulings to prevent pest infestation on the painted surfaces. Wood preservatives often contain both insecticides and fungicides. Textiles are u. a. equipped with microbicides. By the addition of so-called pot preservatives ( english in-can preservatives ) is prevented, liquid detergents and cleaning agents, paints and varnishes that decompose microbially. An important group of substances in in-can preservatives are the isothiazolinones .

Classification according to product types

The EU regulation No. 528/2012 on the placing on the market of biocidal products and the Swiss biocidal product regulation define four main groups: disinfectants, material protection agents, pesticides and a small group of 'other' (antifouling agents, corpse / carcass preparation agents). The four main groups are divided into 22 biocidal product types (or types, PT) (The Biocide Directive 98/8 / EC knew 23 PT, but PT 20, "Protective agents for food and feed", was deleted and the previous PT 23 is now listed as product type 20).

group Definition from regulation
Main group 1 Disinfectants and general biocidal products
Product type 1 Biocidal products for human hygiene
Product type 2 Disinfectants for the private sector and the public health sector as well as other biocidal products
Product type 3 Biocidal products for hygiene in the veterinary sector
Product type 4 Disinfectants for the food and feed sector
Product type 5 Drinking water disinfectant
Main group 2 Protective agent
Product type 6 Pot preservatives
Product type 7 Coating preservatives
Product type 8 Wood preservatives
Product type 9 Protectants for fibers, leather, rubber and polymerized materials
Product type 10 Masonry preservatives
Product type 11 Protective agent for liquids in cooling and process systems
Product type 12 Slime killers
Product type 13 Preservatives for metalworking fluids
Main group 3 Pesticides
Product type 14 Rodenticides
Product type 15 Avicides
Product type 16 Molluscicides
Product type 17 Fish control agents
Product type 18 Insecticides , acaricides and products against other arthropods
Product type 19 Repellants and attractants
Product type 20 Products against other vertebrates
Main group 4 Other biocidal products
Product type 21 Antifouling products
Product type 22 Embalming and taxidermy fluids

Classification according to target organisms


Since the EU Biocide Directive was passed in 1998, biocidal products have to be approved. The process is in two stages:

  1. Active ingredient approval: every active ingredient for which a manufacturer requests and supports this is checked in a common procedure in all EU member states (MS) - individually for each product type (PT) - and the "Union list" of active ingredients is created.
  2. Product approval: Biocidal products with these active ingredients must then go through the national approval process and B. prove their effectiveness, purity and the controllability of their side effects. After a country (MS) has approved a product, the other countries in which the manufacturer applies must "recognize" (adopt) this initial approval. In the course of the introduction of EU Regulation No. 528/2012 it is possible for the first time to apply for Union approvals for certain types of products, i.e. In other words, the approval is then valid throughout the EEA and in Switzerland.

The active ingredient procedure is to be completed in 2024, so that there are still many active ingredients that have not yet been approved for use (PT) on the market. Transitional rules apply to these "old active ingredients".

Mode of action

Biocides can be divided into electrophilic , lytic and oxidizing agents. Electrophilic biocides such as glutaraldehyde , isothiazolinones , oxazolidines , bronopol and DBNPA react with nucleophilic functional groups such as -SH (thiol) and -NH (amine). This z. B. the amino and nucleic acids are cross-linked , causing the cytoplasm to clump together. Lytic biocides such as quaternary ammonium compounds and phosphonium compounds are amphiphilic surfactants and dissolve the cell membrane . Also, ethanol and aldehydes act against the cell membrane. Oxidizing substances such as chlorine dioxide , sodium hypochlorite or peroxyacetic acid destroy the cell by forming free radicals .

Synergy effects

Because almost all biocides have gaps in their effectiveness against certain organisms, active ingredients from two different classes are often combined. However, some combinations are chemically incompatible: Oxidizing biocides cannot be combined with reducing ones such as carbamates or thions .

Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of important biocides

Information in ppm

Short form of the biocide Biocide Alternaria alternata Black watering can mold
( Aspergillus niger )
Trichoderma viride Aureobasidium pullulans Chaetomium globosum Cladosporium cladosporioides Sclerophoma pityophila Penicillium glaucum Pseudomonas aeruginosa Staphylococcus aureus
OBPA 10,10'-oxybisphenoxoarsine 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OIT Octylisothiazolinone 1.5 5 - 0.5 10 - - 2.5 500 10
DCOIT Dichloroctylisothiazolinone 10 5 100 50 5 5 100 15th 13 5
BBIT Butylbenzisothiazolinone 2 31 32 4th 0.5 0.5 - 5 500 2
IPBC Iodocarb 2 2 100 1 5 2 1 1 - 200
Zinc pyrithione 7.5 100 50 15th 20th 5 5 50 400 <10
Triclosan - - - - - - - - > 100 0.01
Silver ions - 0.003 - - - - - - 0.008 0.008
silver - 500 - - 500 - - 500 62.5 350


In Switzerland, the following consumption quantities of biocidal active ingredients were determined for 2011:

Biocides and animal welfare

By definition, the use of biocides is in conflict with the demands of animal welfare. This can be resolved by looking for ways to keep harmful organisms away instead of destroying them. Another, still young approach are eco-neutral biocides, in which the manufacturer compensates for the intervention in an animal population.


Web links

Wiktionary: Biocide  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Bird Poisoning  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. Lecture on biocidal product approval by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). (PDF) TU Dortmund
  2. Biocide definition . CLP help desk; Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  3. Biocidal Products . Federal Environment Agency; Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  4. Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 22, 2012 on the making available on the market and use of biocidal products in the consolidated version of April 25, 2014
  5. Ordinance on the placing on the market of and handling of biocidal products (Biocidal Products Ordinance, VBP). Appendix 10. (Switzerland)
  6. Product types according to Appendix V of the EU Biocide Regulation. European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
  7. Directive 98/8 / EC
  8. Active ingredients already approved for each product type, BAuA Helpdesk
  9. Biocidal products already approved, BAuA Dortmund
  10. Biocidal active ingredients. Registration office for chemicals, accessed on February 22, 2017 .
  11. Regulation (EU) No. 736/2013 of the Commission of May 17, 2013 amending Regulation (EU) No. 528/2012 ... with regard to the duration of the work program for testing old biocidal active substances
  12. Transitional regulations for existing active ingredients. Retrieved February 22, 2017 .
  13. Genevieve A. Kahrilas, Jens Blotevogel, Philip S. Stewart, Thomas Borch: Biocides in hydraulic fracturing fluid: A Critical Review of Their Usage, mobility, degradation, and Toxicity . In: Environmental Science & Technology . December 10, 2014, doi : 10.1021 / es503724k .
  14. ^ SP Denyer, GSAB Stewart: Mechanisms of action of disinfectants . In: International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation . tape 41 , no. 3-4 , January 1998, pp. 261-268 , doi : 10.1016 / S0964-8305 (98) 00023-7 ( [PDF]).
  15. Christopher J. Nalepa, Terry M. Williams: Biocides: Selection and Application . In: The science and technology of industrial water treatment . CRC Press, Boca Raton FL 2010, ISBN 978-1-4200-7145-0 , p. 403.
  16. Nobuyuki Nakajima: Biocides in Plastics: Rapra Review Report 180 . Smithers Rapra Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-85957-512-3 , pp. 3 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  17. Thomas Kupper: Biocidal products for hygiene in the veterinary sector ( Memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) , 2013.
  18. Michael Burkhardt, Conrad Dietschweiler: Estimation of the quantity of biocides in protective agents in Switzerland . 2013.