In addition to increased crop production and protection from pests, many everyday products are formulated or treated with pesticide ingredients designed to control microbial growth and maintain product performance. Pesticides are also used to maintain good hygiene and fresh food, and in some industrial operations. However, when used improperly, pesticides can result in inadvertent human health and environmental effects.
In the United States, pesticides are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), and must be registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and by individual states before they can be sold commercially. Under FIFRA, US EPA is required to verify that a pesticide will not cause “unreasonable adverse effects on man or the environment” before it can be registered. US EPA is also mandated, through the 1996 amendments to the FFDCA, to test all pesticide chemicals for endocrine-disruption activity through its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). Pesticide registration is a data-intensive process and typically requires an applicant to perform a number of scientific studies and submit test data prior to and after registration. US EPA is authorized to grant and exempt tolerances (i.e., limits) for pesticide residues on food crops to achieve a “reasonable certainty of no harm” safety standard.
Gradient’s extensive (eco)toxicological and exposure assessment expertise, coupled with our chemical transport and risk communication experience, enables us to assist clients with a number of scientific and regulatory issues associated with the registration, use, and environmental behavior of pesticides.
Children’s Metabolic Sensitivity to a Pesticide. Gradient reviewed the available scientific data related to the development of metabolic capacity in children for a particular pesticide to determine whether an additional safety factor (i.e., FQPA factor) should be applied in developing a reference dose (RfD).
Risk Assessment of Pesticide-treated Wood. Gradient designed and oversaw exposure studies to measure the amount of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) residue on the hands of adult volunteers who touched CCA-treated wood and to quantify the bioavailability of dislodgeable arsenic from treated wood surfaces. We applied these data in a comprehensive human health risk assessment of the potential risks from exposures associated with the use of CCA-treated wood.
Determination of Wastewater Discharge Limit for a Pesticide. Gradient developed a risk-based discharge limit for the pesticide methoprene at a wastewater treatment plant using a post-discharge dispersion model and current knowledge of methoprene toxicity. The limit was developed to achieve effective insect control while remaining protective of the receiving water environment.