Estimating pesticide use across the EU

Year: 2020
Category: Scientific articles
Language: English
Authors: Galimberti, F., Dorati, C., Udias Moinelo, A., Pistocchi, A.
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Information on the use of pesticide active substances in the EU is needed to estimate their overall and cumulative impact on ecosystems and human health. The application of pesticides is strictly controlled by Community legislation since 1991. Policy control measures in the EU are driven by the objectives of protecting human health and the environment (consumers, operator safety, protection of water quality and biodiversity). In 2009, the Sustainable Use Directive (Directive 2009/128/EC) established a framework to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides by reducing the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment. The same year, Regulation (EC) 1185/2009 on pesticide statistics was adopted, covering collections of statistics on pesticide active substances’ use and placing on the market (sales). The data on annual pesticides sales is available in EUROSTAT’s public dissemination database. However, due to a lack of harmonization in the national surveys collecting pesticide use statistics, the use data cannot be aggregated and published at EU level. For confidentiality reasons, the statistics presently available at EU-level (annual data on pesticide active substances placed on the market), are aggregated to pesticide major groups and categories of products, In many EU Member States, or regions thereof, detailed data may be publicly available for individual active substances. A theoretical model can be developed to estimate pesticide use in space and time, based on information on crops, climate and other territorial characteristics, but such a model requires calibration and validation based on data available in the public domain. The objective of the workshop was to collect first-hand information from experts in different EU Member States on data publicly available in their country/regions on pesticide use or proxies, such as pesticide sales, for individual active substances, in order to identify options for the development of a pan-EU pesticide use model. The latter is a necessary input for the assessment of cumulative impacts of pesticides in the EU.

Publications Office of the European Union.