Pesticides Unit

Parma, Italy

Pesticides Unit

Parma, Italy
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Kattwinkel M.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Kattwinkel M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Liess M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Arena M.,Pesticides Unit | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Reviews | Year: 2015

In the present review, we compiled and evaluated the available information supporting the assessment of population and community recovery after pesticide application. This information is crucial for the environmental risk assessment of pesticides. We reviewed more than 3900 manuscripts on those organism groups relevant or likely to become relevant for the risk assessment procedures in Europe, that is, aquatic invertebrates, algae, aquatic plants, fish, aquatic microbes, amphibians, as well as birds and mammals, non-target terrestrial arthropods including honeybees, non-arthropod invertebrates, terrestrial microbes, non-target terrestrial plants, nematodes, and reptiles. Finally, 106 aquatic and 76 terrestrial studies met our selection criteria and were evaluated in detail. We extracted the following general conclusions. (i) Internal recovery depends strongly on reproduction capacity. For aquatic invertebrates, recovery was generally observed within a maximum of five generation times. (ii) In cases where recovery occurred within one generation, migration from uncontaminated areas was identified as the main pathway for aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, in particular, for insect species with the ability for aerial recolonization. (iii) Community composition in general did not recover within the study duration in the majority of cases. (iv) The ecological context, including factors such as food resources, habitat quality, and recolonization potential, is a crucial factor for recovery from pesticide effects. (v) Indirect effects acting through food chain processes, including predation and competition, are highly relevant for increasing the magnitude of effect and for prolonging recovery time. Based on our findings, we recommend defining realistic scenarios for risk assessment regarding exposure, taxa considered, environmental conditions, and ecological context. In addition to experimental studies, field monitoring was shown to yield valuable information to identify relevant taxa, long-term effects, and the conditions for recovery, and should therefore be considered to validate approaches of risk assessment. Likewise, ecological modelling was found to be a valuable tool for assessing recovery. Finally, both study design and interpretation of results still often suffer from missing ecological information or from neglect of the available knowledge. Hence, a more rigorous utilization of existing knowledge (e.g., from general disturbance ecology) and the generation of systematic ecological knowledge on the various factors influencing recovery are needed. © 2015 Published by NRC Research Press.


Amenta V.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Amenta V.,Substance Identity and Data Sharing Unit | Aschberger K.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Arena M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 13 more authors.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2015

Nanotechnology has the potential to innovate the agricultural, feed and food sectors (hereinafter referred to as agri/feed/food). Applications that are marketed already include nano-encapsulated agrochemicals or nutrients, antimicrobial nanoparticles and active and intelligent food packaging. Many nano-enabled products are currently under research and development, and may enter the market in the near future. As for any other regulated product, applicants applying for market approval have to demonstrate the safe use of such new products without posing undue safety risks to the consumer and the environment. Several countries all over the world have been active in examining the appropriateness of their regulatory frameworks for dealing with nanotechnologies. As a consequence of this, different approaches have been taken in regulating nano-based products in agri/feed/food. The EU, along with Switzerland, were identified to be the only world region where nano-specific provisions have been incorporated in existing legislation, while in other regions nanomaterials are regulated more implicitly by mainly building on guidance for industry. This paper presents an overview and discusses the state of the art of different regulatory measures for nanomaterials in agri/feed/food, including legislation and guidance for safety assessment in EU and non-EU countries. © 2015 The Authors.


Dohmen G.P.,BASF | Preuss T.G.,RWTH Aachen | Preuss T.G.,Bayer AG | Hamer M.,Hill International | And 6 more authors.
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management | Year: 2016

Standard risk assessment of plant protection products (PPP) combines "worst-case" exposure scenarios with effect thresholds using assessment (safety) factors to account for uncertainties. If needed, risks can be addressed applying more realistic conditions at higher tiers, which refine exposure and/or effect assessments using additional data. However, it is not possible to investigate the wide range of potential scenarios experimentally. In contrast, ecotoxicological mechanistic effect models do allow for addressing a multitude of scenarios. Furthermore, they may aid the interpretation of experiments such as mesocosm studies, allowing extrapolation to conditions not covered in experiments. Here, we explore how to use mechanistic effect models in the aquatic risk assessment of a model insecticide (Modelmethrin), applied several times per season but rapidly dissipating between applications. The case study focuses on potential effects on aquatic arthropods, the most sensitive group for this substance. The models provide information on the impact of a number of short exposure pulses on sensitive and/or vulnerable populations and, when impacted, assess recovery. The species to model were selected based on their sensitivity in laboratory and field (mesocosm) studies. The general unified threshold model for survival (GUTS) model, which describes the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of chemicals in individuals, was linked to 3 individual-based models (IBM), translating individual survival of sensitive organisms into population-level effects. The impact of pulsed insecticide exposures on populations were modeled using the spatially explicit IBM metapopulation model for assessing spatial and temporal effects of pesticides (MASTEP) for Gammarus pulex, the Chaoborus IBM for populations of Chaoborus crystallinus, and the "IdamP" model for populations of Daphnia magna. The different models were able to predict the potential effects of Modelmethrin applications to key arthropod species inhabiting different aquatic ecosystems; the most sensitive species were significantly impacted unless respective mitigation measures were implemented (buffer zones resulting in reduced exposure). As expected the impact was stronger in shallow ditches as compared to deeper pond scenarios. Furthermore, as expected, recovery depended on factors such as temperature (affecting population growth rate and number of generations) and the occurence of nonimpacted aquatic ecosystems (their frequency and connectivity). These model predictions were largely in line with field observations and/or the results of a mesocosm study, providing additional evidence on the suitability and reliability of the models for risk assessment purposes. Because of their flexibility, models may predict the likelihood of unacceptable effects-based on previously defined protection goals-for a range of insecticide exposure scenarios and freshwater habitats. © 2015 SETAC.


Arena M.,Pesticides Unit | Sgolastra F.,University of Bologna | Sgolastra F.,Italian Agricultural Research Council
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2014

The honey bee Apis mellifera, the test species used in the current environmental risk assessment procedure, is generally considered as extremely sensitive to pesticides when compared to other bee species, although a quantitative approach for comparing the difference in sensitivity among bees has not yet been reported. A systematic review of the relevant literature on the topic followed by a meta-analysis has been performed. Both the contact and oral acute LD50 and the chronic LC50 reported in laboratory studies for as many substances as possible have been extracted from the papers in order to compare the sensitivity to pesticides of honey bees and other bee species (Apiformes). The sensitivity ratio R between the endpoint for the species a (A. mellifera) and the species s (bees other than A. mellifera) was calculated for a total of 150 case studies including 19 bee species. A ratio higher than 1 indicated that the species s was more sensitive to pesticides than honey bees. The meta-analysis showed a high variability of sensitivity among bee species (R from 0.001 to 2085.7), however, in approximately 95 % of the cases the sensitivity ratio was below 10. The effect of pesticides in domestic and wild bees is dependent on the intrinsic sensitivity of single bee species as well as their specific life cycle, nesting activity and foraging behaviour. Current data indicates a need for more comparative information between honey bees and non-Apis bees as well as separate pesticide risk assessment procedures for non-Apis bees. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.


Devos Y.,Genetically Modified Organisms Unit | Romeis J.,Institute for Sustainability science ISS | Luttik R.,Almere | Maggiore A.,Scientific Committee and Emerging Risks Unit | And 5 more authors.
EMBO Reports | Year: 2015

Environmental risk assessments cannot cover all conceivable risks. It is therefore necessary to translate broader policies such as sustainable development into specific protection goals with the overall aim of protecting biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services. © 2015 The Authors.


PubMed | Pesticides Unit
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

Neonicotinoid insecticides are systemic pesticides authorised in Europe since 1991. From their introduction on the market, they have received significant attention from the scientific community, particularly regarding the assessment of lethal and sublethal effects on bees. The availability of scientific evidence alongside some concerns raised on the bee health led to the development of more articulate risk assessment methodologies for pesticides. To support the European Commission in its decision-making process, since 2012 EFSA has been requested to evaluate the risk to bees posed by the exposure to neonicotinoids. The outcome of the EFSA evaluations has been used by risk managers to revise the approval conditions of the substances clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam and to impose severe restrictions on their use. Meanwhile, a number of new studies have been carried out. EFSA is evaluating these data in order to further support the decision-making process with updated scientific assessments.

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