An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management
Despite a changing world in terms of data sharing, availability, and transparency there are still major resource issues associated with collating datasets that will satisfy the requirements of comprehensive pesticide risk assessments especially those undertaken at regional or national scale. In 1996 a long-term project was initiated to begin collating and formatting pesticide data to eventually create a free-to-all repository of data which would provide a comprehensive transparent, harmonised and managed extensive dataset for all types of pesticide risk assessments. Over the last 20 years this database has been keeping pace with improving risk assessments, their associated data requirements, and the needs and expectations of database end users. In 2007 the Pesticides Properties DataBase (PPDB) was launched as a free-to-access website. Currently, the PPDB holds data for almost 2300 pesticide active substances and over 700 metabolites. For each substance around 300 parameters are stored covering human health, environmental quality and biodiversity risk assessments. Approaching the twentieth anniversary of the database this paper seeks to elucidate the current data model, data sources, its validation and quality control processes and describes a number of existing risk assessment applications that depend upon it.