Estimating the degree of exposure of people applying pesticides (operators) and of those who subsequently carry out necessary work in the treated crop (workers) is a key aspect of the evaluation of agrochemicals. The assessment also includes people who might be affected because they are passing by the field at the time of pesticide application (bystanders), and those who live in the vicinity of treated fields (residents).
The first step in risk analysis for these groups of people involves the use of authority-approved models. If necessary, the calculations are then refined using experimental data in order to demonstrate that safe use is possible.
The risk assessments are always done in accordance with the currently valid regulations, but they are subject to change because of the need to account for the latest scientific knowledge. In fact, changes are expected soon as the result of the EFSA documents “Scientific Opinion on Preparation of a Guidance Document on Pesticide Exposure Assessment for Workers, Operators, Bystanders and Residents” and “Guidance on Dermal Absorption”, and these will need to be taken into account from now on.
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