BackgroundSubstances used as co-formulants in plant protection products (PPP) may require registration under Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH), and additionally where an exposure assessment is required, this must take into consideration the specifics of the PPP use.
ObjectivesThis work reports a customized screening level model developed to support human health risk assessment of operators, workers, and bystanders (OWB) for co-formulants used in PPP. The OWB model was designed to closely integrate with REACH generic exposure scenarios (GES) for PPP developed by the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA). The use of these tools in combination is expected to lead to a more standardized and hence efficient risk assessment of co-formulants. This study describes the basis for OWB exposure predictions as well as benchmarking against relevant REACH exposure models for equivalent tasks. The benchmarking was carried out to gain some insight into the initial assumption that the most commonly used tier 1 REACH model would be more conservative than the specific PPP models used for regulatory risk assessments under PPP legislation.
MethodExisting exposure models with regulatory acceptance for the most common types of PPP and their professional and consumer uses were selected. The German BBA model was used to assess spray applications. Granule and seed dispersal was assessed using the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pesticide Handlers Exposure Database (PHED). ECETOC TRA was employed to assess exposure during certain tasks performed in seed treatment, not covered by these PPP models. Where the underlying models featured multiple exposure determinants, the exposure was calculated for all permutations, and the worst-case exposure selected and reported for use in risk assessment. The PPP models are based on measured data collected during actual application of PPP; hence, the worst-case exposure predicted was expected to reflect a realistic worst case for these tasks.
ResultsOWB was implemented as an Excel spreadsheet. Exposure models, parameters, and exposure and risk estimates are reported in a REACH-compliant output format to facilitate the registration of co-formulant uses. As would be expected, benchmarking OWB against the PPP-specific exposure models demonstrated equivalence with the worst-case prediction from these underlying PPP models. For the scenarios modelled, the tier 1 ECETOC TRA gave more conservative predictions than OWB. The reduction in conservatism is attributed to the underlying PPP models being based on measured data collected specifically during the use of PPP, compared to the data underlying ECETOC TRA, based mainly on industrial workplace uses.
ConclusionsOWB provides inhalation and dermal exposure estimates for co-formulants used in PPP which are equivalent to the worst-case estimates from existing specialized PPP exposure models based on measured data. OWB has simplified information requirements in comparison to higher-tier REACH or PPP models. Use of OWB in combination with the defined ECPA GES facilitates an efficient and standardized REACH risk assessment and registration of co-formulant uses in PPP. A defined assessment framework and default inputs potentially decreases the anticipated inter-user variability compared with the use of higher-tier PPP or REACH models in this screening level context.
SUBMITTER: Mostert V