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Pesticide Registration Toolkit

Guidance on bridging of risk assessments

19/12/2018

Conducting human health or environmental risk assessments of a pesticide requires considerable resources from a pesticide registration authority. Appropriate toxicological and environmental data need to be available; local estimates of exposure have to be made, either through an appropriate model or with other means; and staff needs to be trained in conducting the risk assessment and its interpretation. Such resources and tools may not always be available at the registration authority.

On the other hand, pesticide registration authorities or other reputable institutions with more resources may already have conducted risk assessments of the same pesticide. An existing assessment conducted elsewhere may well be used to draw conclusions about the risks of the pesticide. In other words, it may not be necessary to “reinvent the wheel”.

The FAO Pesticide Registration Toolkit therefore has included so-called “bridging” methods to assess human health and environmental risks of pesticides. Bridging is done when an existing risk assessment conducted by a reputable body (generally a pesticide registration authority or an international organization) is reviewed and then compared to a local situation; subsequently, a conclusion is drawn about the risk in the local situation.

General guidance on how to conduct bridging of risk assessments has now been added to the Toolkit.