Unit Toxicology of Products and their Safe Use
The unit assesses the safety of use of plant protection products and biocide products in order to ensure protection of the health of users and uninvolved third parties - in other words, people who may come into contact with the agents in question, such as workers, bystanders and residents.
The assessments are completed as a statutory task based on the laws on plant protection and biocidal products and chemicals within the context of the regulatory approval, licensing and assessment procedures for pesticides. This is carried out in line with the EU Regulations on pesticides and biocides, as well as with regard to implementation of the Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulation.
Plant protection as well as biocidal products must be assessed with regard to the following main aspects:
- Acute toxicity, skin and eye irritation and the potential for sensitisation of the products;
- Toxicological effects of co-formulants and co-formulant substances;
- Estimation of cumulative effects resulting from the combination effects of the active substances and co-formulants used;
- Determination of the exposure of users and uninvolved third parties due to the proposed applications for the products;
- Assessment of the health risk resulting from use of the products by comparing the estimated exposure with the toxicological limit values;
- Derivation of standardised hazard symbols, hazard warnings and safety recommendations based on the toxicological properties of the products;
- Stipulation of restrictions on use, personal protection measures or other requirements to ensure safe handling of the products.
In addition, the unit assesses pesticides with uses permitted in the event of officially ordered pest control measures in accordance with Section18 of the German Protection against Infection Act.
The internal BfR EINSTUF database is used and continuously developed for the toxicological product assessment.
The unit is involved in the further development of testing methods as well as testing and assessment strategies for application safety. It represents the BfR on specialised issues in numerous national and international bodies and advises the German government on questions related to the safe use of plant protection products and biocidal products.