Authors: Utembe W. And Gulumian M.
Source: Human And Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal
Risk assessment is necessary for registration and risk management of new pesticides. The aim of this paper is to discuss challenges that risk assessors in Africa face when conducting risk assessment of pesticides. Risk assessment requires toxicity assessment, environmental fate studies, and the use of models for occupational, dietary, residential, and environmental exposure assessments. Toxicity studies are very costly with the result that toxicity data used to register pesticides in Africa are often sourced from northern hemisphere countries. Assessors also often use exposure modelling results from the northern hemisphere. This is not an ideal approach as occupational exposure is influenced by agricultural practices, climatic conditions, and other factors. Furthermore, residential exposure models require time-location-activity information, exposure factors, and toxicokinetic rate constants for particular pesticides. Dietary exposure assessment needs accurate and comprehensive local food consumption data. Authorities in African countries should therefore generate the required data, despite these being very costly and tedious. Authorities should also provide guidance on the type of models and standard scenarios for estimating predicted environmental concentrations in various environmental compartments. It is recommended that higher educational institutions in Africa should incorporate risk assessment in general and pesticide toxicity and exposure models in particular in their curricula.
Keywords: pesticide registration; risk assessment; toxicity; exposure modelling