Crop Protection Agents

Mutagenicity studies

For each test substance a battery of tests is required to assess the potential to affect the mammalian cell’s genetic components. The objectives underlying the selection of a battery of tests for mutagenicity assessment are:

  • To detect, with sensitive assay methods, the capacity of a chemical to alter genetic material in cells.
  • To determine the relevance of these mutagenic changes to mammals.
  • When mutagenic potential is demonstrated, to incorporate these findings in the assessment of heritable effects, carcinogenicity, and, possibly, other health effects.

Metabolism studies

Data from studies on the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of a pesticide aid in the valuation of test results from other toxicity studies and in the extrapolation of data from animals to man.

The main purpose of metabolism studies is to produce data which increases the understanding of the behavior of the chemical when considering the human exposure anticipated from intended uses of the pesticide.

Ecotoxicology studies

The information required to assess hazards to nontarget organisms is derived from tests to determine pesticidal effects on birds, mammals, fish, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and plants. These tests include short-term acute, subacute, reproduction, simulated field, and full field studies arranged in a hierarchical or tier system which progresses from the basic laboratory tests to the applied field tests. The results of each tier of testing must be evaluated to determine the potential of the pesticide to cause adverse effects, and to determine whether further testing is required. A purpose common to all data requirements is to provide data which determine the need for (and appropriate wording for) precautionary label statements to minimize the potential adverse effects to nontarget organisms.

Environmental fate

The data generated by environmental fate studies are used to: Assess the toxicity to man through exposure of humans to pesticide residues remaining after application, either upon reentering treated areas or from consuming inadvertantly-contaminated food; assess the presence of widely distributed and persistent pesticides in the environment which may result in loss of usable land, surface water, ground water, and wildlife resources; and, assess the potential environmental exposure of other nontarget organisms, such as fish and wildlife, to pesticides. Another specific purpose of the environmental fate data requirements is to help applicants and the Agency estimate expected environmental concentrations of pesticides in specific habitats where threatened or endangered species or other wildlife populations at risk are found.

Residue chemistry

Residue chemistry data are used to estimate the exposure of the general population to pesticide residues in food to support a finding as to the magnitude and identity of residues which result in food or animal feed as a consequence of a proposed pesticide usage. The data is also used for setting and enforcing tolerances for pesticide residues in food or feed.

  • Residue analytical methods
  • Storage stability
  • Processed food or feed
  • Meat/milk/poultry/eggs
  • Potable water
  • Fish

Applicator and post-application exposure

Data are used to evaluate exposures to persons in occupational and non-occupational settings, including agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional and recreational sites. Data include oral, dermal and inhalation exposure data, post-application residue data, post-application monitoring data, use information, and human activity information. These data, together with toxicology data, are used to determine whether application or post-application risks are of concern, and, where appropriate, to develop post-application restrictions such as re-entry restrictions.

Pesticide spray drift evaluation

Data required to evaluate pesticide spray drift are derived from studies of droplet size spectrum and spray drift field evaluations. These data contribute to the development of the overall exposure estimate and, along with data on toxicity for humans, fish and wildlife, or plants, are used to assess the potential hazard of pesticides to these organisms. A purpose common to all these tests is to provide data which will be used to determine the need for (and appropriate wording for) precautionary labeling to minimize the potential adverse effect to nontarget organisms.