Scientific Opinion on outline proposals for assessment of exposure of organisms to substances in soil

Exposure assessment, soil, plant protection products, soil organisms, ecotoxic effects, tiered approaches, crop interception
First published in the EFSA Journal
15 January 2010
17 December 2009
Scientific Opinion


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked the Panel to prepare a revision of the Guidance Document on persistence in soil (SANCO/9188VI/1997 of 12 July 2000) as scientific knowledge in this field has evolved in recent years. Therefore the Panel started the development of a revised methodology for the assessment of exposure of soil organisms. Based on a previous opinion of the Panel, the methodology is developed both for the concentration in total soil and the concentration in the soil pore water. The aim of the exposure assessment is the spatial 90th percentile of the exposure concentration (maximum in time) in the intended area of use in each of the three regulatory zones. The assessment of this percentile will include the uncertainty of substance and soil properties. The exposure assessment methodology is a function of (i) the type of crop (annual, pasture, permanent or rice), (ii) the tillage system and (iii) the application technique of the plant protection product. Based on statistical data of EU agricultural practice, priority was given to developing a methodology for spray applications to annual crops under conventional or reduced tillage. The Panel considers a mixing depth of 20 cm appropriate for both conventional and reduced tillage in multi-year exposure calculations. The Panel proposes a tiered exposure assessment approach with four tiers. Tier 1 consists of a simple analytical model.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Anne Alix, Jos Boesten, Claudia Bolognesi, Theo Brock, Ettore Capri, Anthony Hardy, Andrew Hart, Karen Hirsch-Ernst, Susanne Hougaard-Bennekou, Robert Luttik, Angelo Moretto, Bernadette Ossendorp, Annette Petersen, Yolanda Pico, Andreas Schäffer, Paulo Sousa, Walter Steurbaut, Anita Strömberg, Maria Tasheva, Ton van der Linden, Christiane Vleminckx
Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues
ppr [at]
EFSA Journal 2010; 8(1):1442
Question Number
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