Plant protection products are used in agriculture, forestry and horticulture to control weeds, fungal diseases and pests. Plant protection products are applied on purpose across extensive areas in the environment. These substances have been made toxic to the organisms they are used to control but they are usually also harmful to other organisms. Potential danger to the environment is one of the reasons why authorities pre-inspect plant protection products and only authorised products may be placed on the market.
Many plant protection products have only been authorised subject to specific restrictions. Examples of such restrictions include prohibition of use in groundwater areas, the requirement of buffer zones along water bodies and restriction of consecutive application in the same parcel. Any restrictions are specified in the product label text and must be strictly complied with.