Genericness of Exposure Data
The amount of residue that contacts a worker’s clothing and skin, and the amount of residue available for inhalation are considered a function of physical rather than chemical factors. Examples of physical parameters include formulation type (e.g., liquid, powder, and granule), method of application (e.g. aerial, ground boom, airblast, and hand-held), and the way in which a worker handles the pesticide during mixing, loading and application. The specific active ingredient in the pesticide product does not affect the amount of exposure. Therefore, the amount of exposure is “generic” since it is independent of the active ingredient.
Since exposure is generic, the most efficient means of generating exposure data was for the companies that market agricultural chemical products to pool their technical and financial resources for developing a generic exposure database applicable to virtually all of their products. This was made possible with the formation of the AHETF.
This generic approach benefits the regulatory agencies by providing them with a single, comprehensive database of high-quality data applicable to most active ingredients rather than relying on a multitude of individual studies. This approach also benefits the pesticide industry in that the needed data were generated at a fraction of the cost of conducting product-specific studies.
The exposure database was submitted to USEPA, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), and Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to evaluate member companies’ products.