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Publication of EFSA guidance on pesticide exposure for operators, workers, residents and bystanders

Following the publication of the “Draft guidance on the assessment of exposure of operators, workers, residents and bystanders in risk assessment for plant protection products” by EFSA in April 2014, stakeholder comments have been received, with the guidance document now finalised (EFSA Journal 2014, 12(10):3874).

Routine risk assessment for individual plant protection products (PPP) should continue to use deterministic methods, and a tiered approach to exposure assessment remains appropriate; there is a need to introduce an acute risk assessment for operators, workers and bystanders where PPPs are acutely toxic. In the draft guidance it was proposed that this would be addressed by setting of an AAOEL. This has now been dismissed; instead the risk assessment should be performed using the most appropriate reference value, however, no further guidance is provided.

It is the opinion of the EFSA working group that the “guidance represents a huge step forward for the harmonisation of the pesticide exposure assessment for operators, workers, residents and bystanders at the EU level. However, many gaps still remain...”

These gaps include, but are not limited to: seed treatment / greenhouse / home and allotment exposure scenarios for operators; available data are not reliable enough to proceed with acute exposure assessments for workers; data are lacking to establish the impact of single exposure routes on the overall exposure assessment for residents.

Whilst an exposure calculation spreadsheet reflecting the guidance content is included to support stakeholders in performing the assessment of exposure and risk, no implementation date for the model or guidance has been proposed.

The EFSA guidance and model can be viewed here.

Please contact JSC if you require further advice on operator, worker, resident or bystander risk assessments: +44(0)1423 520245,

Published 24th October 2014
Categories Agrochemicals, Links, News
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