• Open Access

Guidance on the assessment of exposure of operators, workers, residents and bystanders in risk assessment for plant protection products


  • European Food Safety Authority

  • Correspondence: pesticides.ppr@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: EFSA wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on the operator, worker, resident and bystander exposure assessment: Claudia Grosskopf (as of September 2013), Paul Y Hamey, Kyriaki Machera, Sabine Martin, Walter Steurbaut for the preparatory work on this scientific output, the hearing expert: Georgina Downs, and EFSA staff: Lena Elisabeth Jacobi (until October 2012), Jane Richardson, Istvan Sebestyen (until May 2012), Hans Steinkellner (until April 2014) and Manuela Tiramani for the support provided to this scientific output.
  • Adoption date: 17 October 2014
  • Published date: 23 October 2014
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2011-01062
  • On request from: European Commission


Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 ensures that the residues of plant protection products (PPPs), consequent to application consistent with good plant protection practice and having regard to realistic conditions of use, shall not have any harmful effects on human health. In 2010, the EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) prepared a Scientific Opinion on “Preparation of a Guidance Document on Pesticide Exposure Assessment for Workers, Operators, Residents and Bystanders”, which highlighted some inconsistencies between the approaches adopted by regulatory authorities. Therefore, the PPR Panel proposed a number of changes to those practices in use (e.g. routine risk assessment for individual PPPs should continue to use deterministic methods, and a tiered approach to exposure assessment remains appropriate; there is a need to introduce an acute risk assessment for operators, workers and bystanders where PPPs are acutely toxic; for acute risk assessments, exposure estimates should normally be based on 95th percentiles of relevant datasets, whereas, for longer term risk assessments, the starting point should be a 75thpercentile). To prepare a Guidance Document, an ad hoc working group was established to revise all available data and procedures to perform the operator, worker, resident and bystander risk assessment. In addition to the data reported in the PPR opinion, further data were made available to the working group which were analysed and considered. The opinion also identifies those scenarios for which exposure estimates are least satisfactory, and makes recommendations for further research that would reduce current uncertainties. An exposure calculation spreadsheet, reflecting the Guidance content, is annexed to this Guidance Document, to support stakeholders in performing the assessment of exposure and risk.