Risk assessment is an integral part of all crop protection product registration. It is designed to estimate a product’s potential harm to humans, animals and the wider environment. Risk assessments combine data about a substance’s toxicity with information about risk of exposure and environmental fate. Human risk assessment considers agriculture workers as well as the public who may be exposed through proximity to crop protection products, e.g. via drift from fields, or via consumption. For animals, risks to non-target organisms such as bees and birds need to be assessed. For environmental risk assessment, information on the fate and behavior of a substance in the environment, as well as its toxicity to plants and animals in terrestrial and aquatic environments, is needed.
Multiple situations driving risk assessment
There are multiple situations where you need to run risk assessments for a crop protection product, all requiring a slightly different approach. You may require a full set of risk assessments for a new substance. You may need to reassess a substance undergoing reapproval. You may have a substance with a new use and must update existing risk assessments accordingly. You may have a substance in early development and want to check the impact of potential safety signals and the probability of future registration success.