ISO 1750 Pesticides and other agrochemicals — Common names

Pesticide common names are vital for easy and accurate identification of pesticides in trade, registration and legislation, and are a legal requirement on product labels. They are widely used in extension leaflets for farmers and growers and in scientific and popular publications. Pesticide common names are chosen to be short, distinctive, non-proprietary and widely-accepted. There are other ways to identify pesticides, but the systematic names that chemists use are rarely short and are not convenient for general use. Likewise, CAS Registry Numbers® and International Chemical Identifiers (InChIs) are not suitable for use by the general public.

Common names must be available for use without any restrictions to identify pesticides and related substances,  and so they are formally placed in the public domain by ISO.

Common names have traditionally been published in a printed standard that was supplemented by printed addenda and amendments as new pesticide common names were approved, but this was a time-consuming process and it could take several years for new names to be published.

The agrochemical industry, regulatory bodies, advisory services, information services, publishers and other users of pesticide common names need to be made aware of new names without the delays associated with preparing and publishing conventional ISO documents, so we are moving to a system with annual updates. To make this possible, the Maintenance Agency has converted the contents of ISO 1750:1981 and its 2 addenda and 7 amendments into XML format, updated all of the old data, and redrawn all of the structural formulae in scaleable SVG format.

Instead of including the common names and their supporting data within the conventional PDF or printed standards, they are now located in a separate XML file that will be available via a link in the ISO 1750:2023 standard. The file includes the common names, systematic names, molecular formulae, InChIs, InChIKeys, CAS Registry Numbers® and notes. Every 12 months, the file will be updated to add newly-approved common names and to make any necessary changes to the data.

The XML file is designed for viewing in web browsers, with the data formatted as tables that also include the images of structural formulae. The layout is responsive, unlike a PDF, and is designed to give the best user experience on all screen sizes. The tables re-size and the text re-flows to fit any size of screen or window, and the structural formulae re-size when necessary. To improve accessibility, the text re-flows when it is enlarged.

The XML file does not include any indexes, but all web browsers provide ways to search the data, and everything is searchable.

Common names of pesticides are intended to be permanent, so they are never changed and never deleted. ISO 1750 includes the common names of pesticides that have been banned or are no longer in use, so that there will always be a definition available for names found in old literature or on old products.

The English version of the standard (which includes French common names) will be published first. A French version will follow when the systematic names and the notes have been translated.

Project leadership

The project is being led by Alan Wood under the ISO 1750 Maintenance Agency. Alan has been a member of the BSI and ISO committees that assign common names of pesticides for over 40 years, and has developed the XML format and the XSL stylesheets that make the revision and the annual updates possible.

ISO 1750 Produits phytosanitaires et assimilés — Noms communs

Soon after the XML file of common names and supporting data is ready for the Draft International Standard of the English version of ISO 1750, Alan Wood will use it to produce a Word document containing the English and French systematic names and notes.

The Word document will be sent to Seynabou Diagne in Canada for correction and translation.

The French translations will then be added to the XML file so that the French version of ISO 1750 can be published.


  • Revision of ISO 1750:1981 Pesticides and other agrochemicals – Common names
  • Revision of ISO 1750:1981  Produits phytosanitaires et assimilés — Noms communs