p-EMA (II): evaluating ecological risks of pesticides for a farm-level risk assessment system
This paper reports the development of methods for assessing the environmental risks of pesticide use in a farm-level evaluation tool. The basic risk indices that were used, and the criteria used to define different levels of risk, were designed to be consistent with national and EU regulatory risk assessment procedures. They took account of both toxicity and exposure and were responsive to the influence of local conditions and practices, such as pesticide application methods and habitat structure. They also took account of `higher tier' risk assessments carried out for pesticide approvals. The outputs of the system were designed to provide clear and meaningful information for users at various levels of detail, from the individual pesticide application to an overall farm eco-rating. It is recommended that the principle of consistency with regulatory risk assessment should also be applied to the development of other policy instruments such as consumer labels and pesticide taxes.