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Agrochemical Impacts on Human and Environmental Health


Develop technologies that mitigate adverse human and environmental impacts.

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Non-Technical Summary: Agrochemicals will remain fundamental as integrated pest management tools to assure an abundant food supply. Inevitably, a portion of applied agrochemicals may be lost to the surrounding environment where they can adversely affect human and environmental health. The use of conventional and less risky emerging crop protection chemistries in agricultural pest management will require research on their fate and effects, along with mitigation strategies, to minimize risks to humans and the environment. The purpsoe of the multistate project will enable collaborations to more effectively advance and transfer science to agricultural and regulatory stakeholders, who require solutions to complex human and environmental health concerns. <P> Approach: Drawing from W45's multidisciplinary collaborations and expertise, economically viable technologies and management strategies will be developed to prevent and/or mitigate potential agrochemical impacts on human and environmental health. Researchers and extension specialists at Michigan State University will work towards this objective while assuring the technological transferability to stakeholders (including state safety and health agencies, chemical manufacturers, growers, extension specialists, and others). The transport of many new reduced-risk agrochemicals and their transformation products to agricultural workers has not been extensively examined. Our research will include monitoring of a variety of work tasks of pesticide handlers and harvesters of treated crops. These data will serve to clarify the extent of risk resulting from exposure and provide exposure data for more objective establishment of field entry intervals and the effectiveness of personal protective equipment. Scientists and extension specialists will assist in the development of watershed management plans that can adequately protect listed Endangered Species while avoiding unnecessary burdens on agriculture and other pesticide users. Scientists and extension specialists will develop a system for evaluating the relative impact of pesticide use on aquatic and riparian ecosystems associated with different stream types throughout a watershed. The results of this work will aid the USEPA in making prudent biological opinions and assist in better defining biological exposure parameters in the soon-to-be-adopted Endangered Species Protection Plan for Pesticide Use.

Olsen, Larry
Michigan State University
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