Objectives The link between some chronic diseases (e.g. cancers) and pesticides continues to be contentious. One of the main issues is that measuring pesticides exposure is an enormous challenge in epidemiologic studies. Over 1,000 active substances (AS) have been produced and placed on the French market since 1960. No database gathered the use of pesticides over time. With this concern, a new tool named CIPA has been developed. It aims at listing the AS which are registered and approved by French authorities since 1961, for all crops and all uses in agriculture.
Methods In France, ACTA, the head of the agricultural technical institutes network, edits an annual index of plant protection products. This index details all registered AS used in agriculture. In order to ensure continuous monitoring of the registered uses of pesticides over time, the development of CIPA required an important work of interpretation, homogenization and data input. The choices made were approved by experts from technical institutes.
Results CIPA provides data on pesticides as:
1053 individual forms (one form for each AS) with the characteristics and the agricultural uses of the substance,
An Access® database which allows advanced queries about AS,
Graphs from the main retrievals of the CIPA database.
Conclusion This free tool, first of its kind in France, is available on web (http://index-matphyto.univ-lyon1.fr). CIPA makes it possible to retrace the registered uses of pesticides in France since 1961. Advanced queries are possible according to the pesticides uses on crops, the approval and removal dates of an AS, the chemical families (210 including 28 main families)… All these results improve the knowledge of the occupational exposures history in agricultural sector. This tool is useful to improve the traceability of farmers exposure carried out by occupational health doctors and to progress in historical exposure assessment in epidemiological studies.