4. Youth Science Research - Ethics & Safety
Policy Number: 
Policy Section: 
Approved by: 
National Ethics & Safety Committee, Executive Director
Date Approved: 
Sat, Dec 13, 2003
Date Effective: 
Date Last Amended: 
Sun, Feb 1, 2015
Date of Next Review: 
Thu, Feb 1, 2018
National Ethics & Safety Committee
Contact Email: 



1. Pesticides are defined as substances used to prevent, destroy, repel, attract or control pests like insects, weeds or diseases. Major types of pesticides include:

Type Controls
Insecticide Insects
Herbicide Plants - mostly weeds
Fungicide Fungi
Rodenticide Rodents
Miticide Mites
Nematicide Nematode worms

2. Pesticides are regulated by three levels of government: federal, provincial/territorial and municipal. The federal Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) is the federal law that regulates all products used to control pests in Canada. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), Health Canada is responsible for administering the PCPA and its Regulations. A number of other federal laws, such as the Food and Drugs Act, Fertilizer Act, Fisheries Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act also regulate the use of pesticides. Each Province sets out its own laws for the control, use, sale, storage, display, disposal and transportation of pesticides. A number of municipalities have banned the use of pesticides.

3. Students and licensed supervisors must be able to read the product label. The product label contains such information such as active chemicals, spray concentrations, toxicity, safety procedures (i.e., protective clothing, dangers to wildlife, spill containment, poison/contamination procedures, medical treatment, etc.) For example, the product label for the herbicide Dual II Magnum is 38 pages long. A clean, non-contaminated copy of the product label should be kept at the student's desk and available for inspection by fair safety checkers. Pesticides, even triple rinsed containers, cannot be displayed at regional fairs or the Canada Wide Science Fair.

4. Students using pesticides must be of provincial/territorial age for possession and use. Students must also be licenced under the provincial or territorial law that regulates pesticides. If a student is not of age to be licensed, then he/she must be supervised by a person who is licensed. The applicable licence or a certified copy must be available to the safety inspectors at the Regional and/or Canada-Wide Science Fair.

5. Pesticides, pesticide containers or items that have been treated with pesticides shall not be displayed at any Regional or Canada-Wide Science Fair. Disposal of these containers must be done in accordance with Provincial and Municipal rules and regulations.