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European scenarios for exposure of soil organisms to pesticides

: Tiktak, A.; Boesten, J.J.T.I.; Egsmose, M.; Gardi, C.; Klein, Michael; Vanderborght, J.


Journal of environmental science and health. Part B, pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes 48 (2013), No.9, pp.703-716
ISSN: 0360-1234
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()
exposure scenarios; soil organisms; exposure models; parameter uncertainty; scenario uncertainty; pesticide emission at regional and local scales (PEARL); pesticide leaching model (PELMO); persistance in soil analytical model (PERSAM)

Standardised exposure scenarios play an important role in European pesticide authorisation procedures (a scenario is a combination of climate, weather and crop data to be used in exposure models). The European Food Safety Authority developed such scenarios for the assessment of exposure of soil organisms to pesticides. Scenarios were needed for both the concentration in total soil and for the concentration in the liquid phase. The goal of the exposure assessment is the 90th percentile of the exposure concentration in the area of agricultural use of a pesticide in each of three regulatory European zones (North, Centre and South). A statistical approach was adopted to find scenarios that are consistent with this exposure goal. Scenario development began with the simulation of the concentration distribution in the entire area of use by means of a simple analytical model. In the subsequent two steps, procedures were applied to account for parameter uncertainty and scenario uncertainty (i.e. the likelihood that a scenario that is derived for one pesticide is not conservative enough for another pesticide). In the final step, the six scenarios were selected by defining their average air temperature, soil organic-matter content and their soil textural class. Organic matter of the selected scenarios decreased in the order North-Centre-South. Because organic matter has a different effect on the concentration in total soil than it has on the concentration in the liquid phase, the concentration in total soil decreased in the order North-Centre-South whereas the concentration in the liquid phase decreased in the opposite order. The concentration differences between the three regulatory zones appeared to be no more than a factor of two. These differences were comparatively small in view of the considerable differences in climate and soil properties between the three zones.