There is a growing call for improved post Plant Protection Products (PPP) authorisation monitoring to understand PPP fate and exposure in the environment to supplement data gathered in other media (i.e., food). The report evaluated existing (UK and wider) terrestrial chemicals and wildlife monitoring schemes for their potential to contribute to a UK environmental monitoring programme for pesticides. This included desk-based data on usage and loading as well as pesticide contaminants in different environment and biota samples that could provide a measure of exposure.
Key findings are presented through:
- A literature review of existing PPP terrestrial monitoring schemes to inform the development of any new proposals.
- Use of information from the literature review and elsewhere to undertake an initial selection of monitoring activities that may be suitable components of an over-arching, post-registration monitoring scheme for PPPs.
- Development of a proposed monitoring scheme that involved workshops with key technical specialists to understand how to enhance existing monitoring activities and platforms, improve potential for join up of reporting, and to identify gaps in monitoring as well as stakeholder engagement.
- Consideration of potential costs of a holistic monitoring scheme.
A number of schemes were identified that could contribute to the proposed monitoring scheme and these are discussed in the report.
Specific challenges identified included:
- The establishment of baseline datasets for some components of the proposed monitoring scheme and the status of baseline datasets where they already existed.
- The power to detect change of the monitoring in the various proposed components should be established based on baseline datasets to facilitate communication of sensitivity to change.
- Timely and transparent reporting of data with balanced and contextual interpretation.
Post registration pesticides monitoring in the terrestrial environment in the UK compared favourably with that in other countries. However, additional monitoring to fill gaps in environmental compartments, expansion of existing spatially restricted monitoring, or broadening of scope of existing schemes will result in a more comprehensive environmental monitoring system.