Prospective and retrospective risk assessment of pesticides
As part of the large-scale European project PARC (PARC = Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals) on the risk assessment of chemicals, the Ecotox Centre is investigating the risk assessment of pesticides in the various legal frameworks. The effects of pesticides (plant protection products and biocides) are determined both in the context of their authorisation (prospective risk assessment) and for the determination of environmental thresholds (retrospective risk assessment). As a result, there may be up to 3 different regulatory effect values for each substance, depending on the area of use, as the scopes and protection objectives of the different regulatory frameworks differ: RAC (regulatory acceptable concentrations) from the plant protection product authorisation procedure, PNEC (predicted no effects concentrations) from the biocidal products regulation and EQS (environmental quality standards) from the environmental legislation.
In a first step, the researchers analyse the characteristics and similarities between the prospective and retrospective risk assessment of pesticides in order to identify possible limitations and contradictions of the system. In a second phase, they will investigate the effects in streams in agricultural areas that contain the substances in concentrations above their effect values. The results should show how the different effect values should be used and interpreted. On this basis, the researchers would like to develop a proposal for regulators in the different regulatory frameworks on how they should best work together and how the approaches could be aligned.