The Agricultural Handler Exposure Task Force, L.L.C. (AHETF) is a consortium of 27 agricultural chemical companies that formed a joint data development task force in December 2001 to design and develop a generic database of exposure to agricultural workers during the mixing, loading, and/or application of pesticides.
As outlined in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) requires pesticide registrants to provide product-specific occupational dermal and inhalation exposure data for use in assessing exposure potential and conducting risk assessments for workers who handle pesticide products. Dermal exposure is defined as the amount of pesticide residue that can be deposited on the skin of workers, while inhalation exposure is the amount of pesticide residue that can be inhaled by workers. The generic dermal and inhalation exposure data developed by the AHETF cover 25 important types of mixing/loading systems, types of application equipment, and types of formulations.
By pooling their financial and technical resources, the AHETF members were able to develop a high-quality, comprehensive database of exposure at a fraction of the cost of generating product-specific data. This benefitted the regulatory agencies by producing a comprehensive monograph for each of 25 use scenarios applicable to virtually all active ingredients. The monographs were completed and submitted between 2007 and 2020. The AHETF data supplement or replace data in the Pesticide Handler Exposure Database that was the primary source of exposure data prior to submission of AHETF data.
The AHETF testing program was developed and executed in close cooperation with a Joint Regulatory Committee consisting of representatives of AHETF, USEPA, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). All of the data generated by AHETF were submitted to USEPA, CDPR, and PMRA.
The generic exposure data are proprietary and may be used only for AHETF member companies and companies that have compensated AHETF for their reliance on the AHETF data.