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Environmental risk assessment of pesticides: state of the art and prospective improvement from science


Pesticide risk assessment in the European regulatory framework is mandatory performed for active substances (pesticides) and the plant protection products they are constituents of. The aim is to guarantee that safe use can be achieved for the intended use of the product. This paper provides a feedback on the regulatory environmental risk assessment performed for pesticide registration at the EU and member state levels. The different steps of pesticide registration are addressed considering both exposure and hazard. In this paper, we focus on the environmental fate and behaviour in surface water together with the aquatic ecotoxicity of the substances to illustrate pesticide regulatory risk assessment performed for aquatic organisms. Current methodologies are presented along with highlights on potential improvements. For instance, as regards exposure aspects, moving from field based to landscape risk assessments is promising. Regarding ecotoxicology, ecological models may be valuable tools when applied to chemical risk assessment. In addition, interest and further developments to better take into account mitigation measures in risk assessment and management are also presented.

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Correspondence to Arnaud Boivin.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Boivin, A., Poulsen, V. Environmental risk assessment of pesticides: state of the art and prospective improvement from science. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 6889–6894 (2017).

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  • Pesticides
  • Regulation
  • Risk assessment
  • E-fate
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Improvements