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Silsoe, United Kingdom

Remoundou K.,Northumbria University | Brennan M.,Northumbria University | Sacchettini G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Panzone L.,Northumbria University | And 12 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

The EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides (EU128/2009/EC) requires European Member States to develop training activities targeting occupational exposure to pesticides, and communication material aimed at residents and bystanders. Risk perceptions, knowledge and attitudes associated with passive and occupational exposure to pesticide potentially influence the extent to which different stakeholders adopt self-protective behaviour. A methodology for assessing the link between attitudes, adoption of self-protective behaviours and exposure was developed and tested. A survey was implemented in the Greece, Italy and the UK, and targeted stakeholders associated with pesticide exposure linked to orchards, greenhouse crops and arable crops respectively. The results indicated that the adoption of protective measures is low for residents and bystanders, with the exception of residents in Greece, when compared to operators and workers, who tend to follow recommended safety practices. A regression analysis was used to examine the factors affecting the probability of adopting protective measures as well the as the level of exposure in the case of operators and workers where data are available. The results indicate that the likelihood of engaging in self-protective behaviour is not significantly affected by perceptions of own health being affected by pesticides for residents and bystanders. However, operators who perceive that their heath has been negatively affected by the use of pesticides are found to be more likely to adopt self-protective behaviours. Gender and country differences, in perceptions, attitudes and self-protection are also observed. Recommendations for improved communication, in particular for vulnerable groups, are provided. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

In 2006, a research project was commissioned by the UK Chemical Regulations Directorate to develop a new model for estimating the exposure of both bystanders and residents to agricultural pesticides. The Bystander and Resident Exposure Assessment Model (BREAM) project aimed to establish a framework for a predictive model of spray and vapour exposures from boom sprayer applications, then construct and validate the model. Both the model and the data obtained to support it, show clearly that the data on which the existing UK exposure assessment is based, is likely to underestimate exposure to spray drift in some situations and exposures of more than an order of magnitude greater than the current exposure assessment might be appropriate. The ground deposits predicted by the model are also significantly higher than those currently used in the regulatory exposure assessment. The BREAM model for exposures to spray drift allows the effect of distance, wind speed, forward speed, boom and crop height on bystander exposure to be explored for a standard flat fan '03' size nozzle, which is a typical nozzle for UK arable applications. Future developments are likely to include a wider range of nozzles, pressures and the effect of humidity. The reliable prediction of people's exposures to vapours has proven more difficult to achieve. However, limiting volatilisation by applied dose and taking account of UK meteorological conditions in the dispersion calculation has allowed a more realistic estimate of maximum exposures to be made. The project showed that further investigations into the factors influencing the volatilisation of pesticide from treated fields are required. © 2012 Research Information Ltd. All rights reserved.

Emery S.B.,University of Birmingham | Hart A.,Food and Environmental Research Agency | Butler-Ellis C.,Silsoe Spray Applications Unit | Gerritsen-Ebben M.G.,TNO | And 3 more authors.
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment | Year: 2015

The literature was reviewed to assess the understanding and interpretation of pictograms used in pesticide exposure risk communication, and to assess the results in the context of the new European Union (EU) regulatory context for the sustainable use of pesticides. The results indicate that the understanding of pictograms used on pesticide labels by workers and operators is generally low. Standardized approaches, contrary to their claims, are not easily understandable, culturally neutral, or universally understood. Although there is scope for the greater use of pictograms in training, it is important to stress that they should never replace the full and frequent verbal training in a language understood by the trainee. They can, however, be used to complement training, facilitate recall, and encourage compliance. While the policy affecting the handling, labeling, and use of pesticides is applied across the EU, there has been no analysis of the different types of pictograms that have been used in the European context, nor the different ways that they are employed (e.g., on labels, on signs, during training), nor understanding of their meaning by European workers and operators. Furthermore, the implications for risk with residents and bystanders are less clear than for workers and operators. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Kennedy M.C.,UK Environment Agency | Butler Ellis M.C.,Silsoe Spray Applications Unit | Miller P.C.H.,Silsoe Spray Applications Unit
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2012

Complex simulation models are available to predict the level of exposure to bystanders and residents after a crop spraying event. In this paper we consider a particle-tracking spray drift model whose input parameters define particular scenarios of interest. Model outputs based on fixed values for these inputs ignore natural random variation and therefore give no indication of realistic variation in exposures, nor do they quantify the probability of rare extreme exposures. We describe a probabilistic modelling framework that allows the effect of variability in the input parameters to be quantified. An efficient statistical method for approximating the spray drift model is used, by creating a statistical emulator. An additional statistical model is then used to link airborne spray outputs to bystander exposures based on measured data. Uncertainty and variability are quantified in this model component. Validation of our approach is considered in two stages: first the accuracy of the emulator is assessed, as a surrogate for the true spray model. Secondly, the overall probabilistic outputs are compared with corresponding field measurements. Results are presented for a selection of typical exposure risk scenarios for bystanders and residents, illustrating the potential to generate a richer source of information for decision-makers. Sensitivity analysis results suggest strategies to reduce risk, such as minimising boom height. © 2012.

Butler Ellis M.C.,Silsoe Spray Applications Unit | Miller P.C.H.,Silsoe Spray Applications Unit
Biosystems Engineering | Year: 2010

A computer model of spray drift was developed, from an earlier particle-tracking model (Miller and Hadfield, 1989), which can be used to predict non-target exposures to pesticides. The extended model includes the effects of multiple nozzles on a boom and a forward speed so that it is better able to simulate application conditions appropriate to current field practice, particularly in the UK. The model was specifically developed for improving estimates of bystander dermal and inhaled spray drift exposure. It was validated against three experimental datasets of downwind airborne spray and ground deposit for FF110/1.2/3.0 conventional flat-fan nozzles spraying over either short grass or 0.65 m tall wheat crop. The model showed good agreement with measurements, but future work is required to validate the model against other nozzle designs. © 2010 IAgrE.

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