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Unit Toxicology of Pesticides and Biocides
This Unit deals with the toxicological assessment of pesticides, i.e. active chemical substances or micro-organisms contained in pesticides or biocides. This is done both within the framework of the national authorisation procedures pursuant to the Pesticides and Biocides Act but also on the European level in conjunction with the implementation of Directives 91/414/EEC and 98/8/EC.
The hazard potential of the active substances is assessed on the basis of the documentation submitted by the applicants. The following data have to be regularly assessed for active chemical substances:
- Acute toxicity, skin and eye irritation, sensitisation
- Sub-chronic toxicity
- Chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity
- Reproduction toxicity, development toxicity
- Toxicity of metabolites
- Observations in human beings
The assessments lead to the establishment of toxicological limits for the active substances. At these levels no health impairment of the exposed individuals is to be expected.
- ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake):
Limit value for the long-term exposure of the consumer
- ARfD (Acute Reference Dose):
Limit value for the acute exposure of the consumer
- AOEL (Acceptable Operator Exposure Level):
Limit value for the exposure of the user
Furthermore, the classification and labelling of the active substance is proposed on the basis of its toxicological properties.
Another key task of the Unit is to provide scientific advice on questions of the toxicological assessment of pesticides and participation in the drawing up of guidance documents of the EU or the OECD in which the procedure for toxicological risk assessment is regulated. To a lesser degree the Unit - in co-operation with other partners - is involved in research activities that focus on the "further development of toxicological test methods".