dynamiCROP :: dynamic assessment of human exposure from pesticide uptake into plants
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Context and Scope
Human intake of pesticide residues via ingestion of processed food is important for evaluating current agricultural practice. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) has been used as a tool to characterize potential toxic impacts attributable to pesticide use. Human health impacts of pesticides, however, are still poorly represented in existing approaches, since only effects from diffuse emissions are considered as result from human activities.
While in the case of diffuse emissions environmental media are the emission target compartments, in case of direct application it is the cultivated crop that is finally consumed. In the latter case, steady-state conditions are usually not reached and a dynamic assessment is required. To address these issues, we developed
, a new dynamic assessment model for human health impacts due to uptake of pesticides into multiple crop types based on a transparent matrix algebra framework.
Life Cycle Impact Assessment
«Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) aims to quantify the importance of environmental stressors tabulated in a Life Cycle Inventory and to aggregate the stressors to a small number of category indicators and, in some cases, to one final indicator. It draws connections between stressors and valued items that are potentially affected, such as human health or ecosystem functioning. Such a connection is expressed in a stressor-impact chain (cause-effect chain), describing environmental mechanisms. At the endpoint of a cause-effect chain is an impact on a valued item, for example, [a disease from intake of a toxic substance]. These impacts or endpoints can be organised into areas of protection (AoPs, also called safeguard subjects). According to the International Organisation for Standardisation, LCIA consists of 2 mandatory elements, classification and characterisation, and 3 optional elements, normalisation, grouping, and weighting.» (Source:
Hauschild and Huijbregts, 2015
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