Toxicological Risk Assessment of plant protection products workshop

On 13 and 14 March 2018, the Regulated Products Assessment Department (DEPR) of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) hosted a Workshop on Toxicological Risk Assessment of Plant Protection Products.

The organising committee for the event was made up of ANSES along with the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission (Directorate-General Health and Food Safety).

This Workshop was a follow-up to one hosted by AGES in 2015. The meeting was attended by participants from the regulatory authorities of some 20 European countries, plus representatives of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Commission and stakeholders.

Central topics were:

  • exposure assessment of operators, workers, bystanders and residents;
  • estimating dermal absorption of products as part of exposure assessment;
  • the assessment of cumulative and combined risks;
  • the toxicological classification of plant protection products;
  • consideration of co-formulants.

The principal conclusions of the Workshop were:

  • the harmonisation of risk assessment methods should be continued;
  • areas for improvement have been identified, in particular situations where the estimation of exposure needs to be better harmonised between Member States;
  • the adoption of harmonised methodology to facilitate the implementation of combined risk assessment;
  • the new European guidance document on the estimation of dermal absorption will reinforce the harmonisation and robustness of evaluations;
  • harmonised guidelines must be adopted for alternatives to animal testing in the evaluation