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Keywords:

  • indicator;
  • non-agricultural;
  • human health;
  • environment;
  • pesticide reduction;
  • POCER

Abstract

Pesticides are used not only in agriculture but also by public services and households. Much information is available on the influence of agricultural applications on human health by occupational exposure and on the environment. There is still a need for adequate information on the impact of non-agricultural applications of pesticides. The POCER indicator (Pesticide Occupational and Environmental Risk indicator) has been developed at Ghent University for agricultural situations, as a tool for applicators and decision-makers, by calculating the impact of pesticide treatments on the applicator, the worker, the bystander, groundwater, surface water, bees, earthworms, birds, useful arthropods and persistence in soil. A few adaptations in the POCER calculation method can make the indicator also very useful for non-agricultural conditions. The impact of plant protection products on human health and environment in public services and households can be calculated and the scores can be compared with each other, resulting in an improved pesticide programme. Decision makers might use the POCER indicator to evaluate the reduction programme of public services and communities and offer them measurements to reduce the impact of pesticides. For example, wearing protective clothing or taking into account the distance between application and surface water can greatly reduce the impact score. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry