In 2018, ISSeP is stepping up research to objectify the quantity of pollutants circulating in the air and assess their risk.

Pesticides in the air?

Present everywhere for decades, pesticides are among the most worrying substances for the environment and for humans. Routes of exposure are ingestion, inhalation and skin contact. While food is generally recognized as the main route of exposure to pesticides, an increasing number of air measurement campaigns indicate that inhalation is also an undeniable source, even in places far from any use.

Should worry?

The importance of this exposure, particularly for people living on the edge of fields, has yet to be fully documented. However, while it is estimated during risk assessment studies prior to the marketing of these substances, it is rarely quantified through measurement campaigns in real-life situations. We therefore need to go further and assess the risk, which is the role of ISSeP.

What to do?

First of all, we need to obtain factual data on pesticide dispersion in the vicinity of treated fields. These data enable us to better understand and quantify exposure. Data must then be collected on the parameters influencing their dispersion, in order to identify the most effective risk prevention measures: good spraying practices, imposition of buffer strips, intercalation of physical barriers, etc.

More concretely?

In 2018, a study was entrusted to ISSeP, CRA-W and ULiège by the cabinet of the Minister for the Environment, Ecological Transition, Spatial Planning, Public Works, Mobility, Transport, Animal Welfare and Zoning. The aim of this study is to collect data on the exposure of local residents to agricultural pesticides. ISSeP is the main player and project manager.

And what about 2018 ?

The 2018 study will lead to :

  • assessment of pesticide exposure in the vicinity of cultivated fields, both in the short term (within 24 hours of the start of spraying) and in the longer term (in the days that follow);
  • assessing how exposure varies with distance from the source;
  • assessing the real influence of agronomic parameters and the presence of physical barriers on contamination of field edges;
  • verification, through measurements, that the “Residents’ exposure” predictive models used when approving substances reasonably cover the “Residents’ exposure” risks.

Find out more.