Research Station Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil, CH-8820 Wädenswil

Ecotoxicological risk analysis of plant protection products

Environmental risks have to be assessed before a plant protection product (PPP) is used. The ecotoxicity of the PPP for different organisms (birds, mammals, fish, aquatic invertebrates and plants, arthropods including bees, earthworms and micro-organisms), is compared with the expected exposure of organisms to the PPP through water, soil, air or food. For unproblematic substances toxicological endpoints from laboratory studies and simple exposure calculations are sufficient. For problematic substances additional higher-tier studies are carried out: e.g. mesocosm studies for aquatic organisms and feeding studies for birds. These studies allow a more refined risk analysis, which is an important basis for the registration process.

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