Product Evaluator: Data Sources

Human Health Hazards

Cancer Ranking Data Sources:

Reproductive/Developmental Toxicity Data Sources:

  • The State of California Proposition 65 is a list that contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.

Endocrine Disruptor Status Sources:

Under the Food Quality Protection Act, the EPA is required to screen pesticide ingredients for endocrine system effects. Until that screening is done, an official U.S. list of endocrine disruptors is not be available.

For purposes of screening for San Francisco Hazard Tier, PRI uses the list of endocrine disruptors compiled by the European Commission and the list in the book Environmental Endocrine Disruptors by Lawrence Keith.

 

Water Pollution Potential

Groundwater Ubiquity Score (GUS):

The Groundwater Ubiquity Score (GUS) has two components:

Koc: This is the soil organic carbon – water partitioning coefficient. This parameter is a ratio of the soil concentration of the chemical per its concentration in solution, and is useful in predicting the mobility of organic soil contaminants.

Aerobic Half-life: Half-life is a measure of the persistence of a chemical in the environment, defined as the time (typical units are days) required for half of the pesticide to degrade.

The GUS score provides a measure of soil mobility, defined as follows:
GUS = log10(half-life) x [4 – log10 (Koc)]

GUS Value:
<0.1 Extremely Low
0.1-1.0 Very Low
1.0-2.0 Low
2.0-3.0 Moderate
3.0-4.0 High
>4.0 Very High

Soil Mobility:

The soil mobility assessment is based on the GUS of the chemical, and is related to its half-life and ability to adsorb to soils, Koc.

GUS provides a measure of soil mobility, defined as follows:

GUS = log10(half-life) x [4 – log10 (Koc)]where half-life is the time it takes for half of the chemical to degrade in the environment and Koc is the soil adsorption coefficient that defines how strongly the chemical is adsorbed to soil organic matter.

Based on the GUS, soil mobility is defined as follows:

GUS Value:

<0.1 Extremely Low
0.1-1.0 Very Low
1.0-2.0 Low
2.0-3.0 Moderate
3.0-4.0 High
>4.0 Very High

Aerobic Half-Life (days):

Half-life is a measure of the persistence of a chemical in the environment, defined as the time (typical units are days) required for half of the pesticide to degrade. This time is often expressed as a range (for example, 1-3 days, 2-4 years, etc.) because the rate of pesticide breakdown depends on a variety of factors including temperature, soil pH, soil microbe content and whether or not the pesticide is exposed to light, water and oxygen. It is worth noting that many of the breakdown products themselves are toxic and may have significant half-lives as well. The different types of half-lives are described on the PANNA PesticideInfo site.

California Specific Numeric Values Sources:

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation assesses the potential of a chemical to contaminate groundwater by using Specific Numeric Values (SNVs) that include half-life, the soil adsorption coefficient (Koc), and water solubility. Pesticides that are soluble in water and do not adsorb to soil will be mobile in the environment. If they are also persistent (long half-life), they survive long enough to be transported to groundwater. For more on the specifics of how DPR determines groundwater pollution potential from SNVs, see DPR’s Pesticide Chemistry Data page.

Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxicant (PBT) Sources:

PBT pollutants are chemicals that are toxic, persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in food chains and, thus, pose risks to human health and ecosystems. The biggest concerns about PBTs are that they transfer rather easily among air, water, and land, and span boundaries of programs, geography, and generations.

For purposes of this screening, we use the The US EPA Hazardous Waste Minimization Program’s Priority Chemicals List contains identified PBTs, the US EPA Toxic Inventory Program’s PBT List, and the European Commission’s PBT Information System.

 

Low Toxicity Indicators

Section 25(b) Minimum Risk:

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) exempts federal registration minimum risk pesticides that meet certain criteria under section 25(b).  Section 25(b) minimum risk pesticides are a special class of pesticides that contain ingredients, both active and inert, that are demonstrably safe for the intended use and therefore fall under section 25(b) of FIFRA. For more information on minimum risk pesticides, see US EPA Office of Pesticide Programs’ page on 25(b) ingredients.

Organic Approved:

When applied to agriculture, the term “organic” refers to any food or other agricultural product produced through approved methods that foster cycling or resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Natural, non-synthetic substances are approved for organic production unless specifically prohibited. Alternatively, synthetic substances must be approved for use in organic crop production, livestock production, and/or processing of organic products prior to use. For more information regarding allowed synthetic and prohibited natural substances in organic production, see the USDA National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.

US EPA Biopesticide:

Biopesticides include naturally occurring substances that control pests (biochemical pesticides), microorganisms that control pests (microbial pesticides), and pesticidal substances produced by plants containing added genetic material (plant-incorporated protectants) or PIPs. For more information on how US EPA registers biopesticides, see the US EPA Office of Pesticide Programs’ page on Regulating Biopesticides.

US EPA Waived Data Requests:

US EPA occasionally waives data requirements for registration when staff determines that certain data that would otherwise be required are not needed. In many cases, this waiver is given because the pesticide has relatively low toxicity. PRI flags these chemicals as “Yes, low toxicity” in the EPA Waived Data Requests column. However, there are a few scenarios where the data waiver is based on other factors besides low toxicity. These include:

1) The chemical is highly acutely toxic, making it impossible to conduct chronic toxicity studies. Most rodenticides fall in this category. PRI flags these chemicals as “Yes, but acute, cancer or developmental toxicity exist.”

2) The chemical has low acute toxicity, so the acute toxicity studies are waived, but other types of toxicity (such as reproductive, developmental or carcinogenicity) have been observed for that chemical. PRI flags these chemicals as “Yes, but acute, cancer or developmental toxicity exist.”

3) The chemical is not intended for use on food, so data requirements for oral toxicity are waived. PRI flags these chemicals as “Yes, no food uses of this pesticide.”

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