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Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

Vector control standard 3: Chemical control safety

Chemical vector control measures are carried out in a manner that ensures that staff, the disaster affected population and the local environment are adequately protected, and avoids creating chemical resistance to the substances used.


Key actions (to be read in conjunction with the guidance notes)

  • Protect chemical handling personnel by providing training, protective clothing, bathing facilities and restricting the number of hours they spend handling chemicals (see guidance note 1).
  • Inform the disaster-affected population about the potential risks of the substances used in chemical vector control and about the schedule for application. Provide the population with protection during and after the application of poisons or pesticides, according to internationally agreed procedures (see guidance note 1).


Key indicators (to be read in conjunction with the guidance note)

  • Accepted international standards and norms are followed in the choice of quality, storage and transport of chemicals for vector control measures. No adverse reactions are reported or observed due to vector control chemicals (see guidance note 1).

  • All vector control chemicals are accounted for at all times (see guidance note 1).


Guidance note

  1. National and international protocols: there are clear international protocols and norms, published by WHO, which should be adhered to at all times These are protocols for both the choice and the application of chemicals in vector control, including the protection of personnel and training requirements. Vector control measures should address two principal concerns: efficacy and safety. If national norms with regard to the choice of chemicals fall short of international standards, resulting in little or no impact or endangering health and safety, then the agency should consult and lobby the relevant national authority for permission to adhere to the international standards.