Objectives Pesticides include ˜1000 chemicals with various toxicological properties. Pesticide exposure assessment represents a crucial methodological issue for epidemiological studies. A reconstitution of pesticides used in entire professional careers based only on the memory is questionable. PESTIMAT is a crop exposure matrix, which intends to reconstitute parameters of pesticide exposure in France.
Method PESTIMAT is made of tables crossing crops and active ingredients (a.i.) by year from 1950 to 2010 and providing the following exposure parameters: 1) probability corresponding to the proportion of farmers having used the a.i. (in%), 2) frequency expressed as the number of treatment days, 3) intensity documented by the application rate of the a.i. (in kg/ha). Parameters were obtained by the combination of six complementary sources: i) registrations and withdrawals from the Agriculture Ministry, ii) information from ACTA* on products marketed iii) agricultural recommendations by the Plant Health Protection body, iv) treatment calendars provided by farmers, v) information from professionnal associations of farmers, vi) data from the industry
Results To date, 529 a.i. usable between 1950 and 2010 on 4 crops are included in PESTIMAT, corresponding to 160 fungicides (30%), 160 herbicides (30%) and 209 insecticides (40%). The total numbers were comparable on wheat/barley (N = 293), vineyards (N = 280), and apple-growing (N = 267) but lower on corn (N = 196). We will present an illustration with data obtained for dithiocarbamates fungicides, and examples of use in epidemiological studies, e.g. PHYTONER and AGRICAN cohorts.
Conclusions The multisource information available in the PESTIMAT matrix should enable to assess associations between pesticides and health at the a.i. level.
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