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Addressing uncertainty and variability in pesticide risk assessments for birds and mammals - PS2303

Description
The overall objective of this project is to develop improved methods for assessing pesticide risks to birds and mammals, that make full use of available scientific knowledge but also account in a robust way for uncertainty and variability. To achieve this goal the project will develop improved models for assessing exposure and toxicity. It will make full use of existing quantitative data and also draw on expert knowledge, especially
concerning the ecology and behaviour of birds and mammals in UK agricultural habitats. It will identify sources of variability and uncertainty affecting the assessment and account for them in the model, using methods of
uncertainty analysis that will be reviewed and evaluated in conjuction with a sister project, PS2301. The project will also identify and characterise, as far as possible, known or potential sources of uncertainty and
variability that cannot be included in the models, as this will be essential for interpretation of the results. By these means the project will provide substantial improvements compared to current pesticide assessment
methods, which are deterministic and take only limited account of uncertainty and variability. The project will also make use of existing data on pesticide effects on birds in field studies to provide a partial validation of the approaches developed in the project.


The specific technical objectives are:
1. Develop statistical/mathematical models using existing data and expert knowledge to take account of uncertainty and variability in the assessment of pesticide risks to birds and mammals.
2. Test the operation of the models after they have been web-enabled.
3. Develop improved methods for quantifying uncertainty and variability in both acute and long-term toxicity.
4. Evaluate the performance of the models for acute risk to birds, by comparing their outputs with existing data on impacts in field studies, and estimate the proportion of variability accounted for by the models.
The models will be compatible with a generic model framework produced by the sister project PS2301,applicable to the current regulatory framework, and delivered in a format suitable for web-enabling by project
PS2301.

The results of this research will be used in the statutory pesticides approvals scheme and will contribute to the
Government`s objectives of assessing and minimising the risks that pesticides present to the environment and
non-target species, and of reversing the long-term decline in farmland birds by 2020.
Objective
The overall objective of this project is to develop improved methods for assessing pesticide risks to birds and mammals, that make full use of available scientific knowledge but also account in a robust way for uncertainty and variability. To achieve this goal the project will develop improved models for assessing exposure and toxicity. It will make full use of existing quantitative data and also draw on expert knowledge, especially
concerning the ecology and behaviour of birds and mammals in UK agricultural habitats. It will identify sources of variability and uncertainty affecting the assessment and account for them in the model, using methods of
uncertainty analysis that will be reviewed and evaluated in conjuction with a sister project, PS2301. The project will also identify and characterise, as far as possible, known or potential sources of uncertainty and
variability that cannot be included in the models, as this will be essential for interpretation of the results. By these means the project will provide substantial improvements compared to current pesticide assessment
methods, which are deterministic and take only limited account of uncertainty and variability. The project will also make use of existing data on pesticide effects on birds in field studies to provide a partial validation of the approaches developed in the project.

The specific technical objectives are:
1. Develop statistical/mathematical models using existing data and expert knowledge to take account of uncertainty and variability in the assessment of pesticide risks to birds and mammals. Complete final models by month 48.
2. Test the operation of the models after they have been web-enabled. Complete final models by month 48.
3. Develop improved methods for quantifying uncertainty and variability in both acute and long-term toxicity. Complete by month 12.
4. Evaluate the performance of the models for acute risk to birds, by comparing their outputs with existing data on impacts in field studies. Complete by month 36.

The models will be compatible with a generic model framework produced by the sister project PS2301,applicable to the current regulatory framework, and delivered in a format suitable for web-enabling by project
PS2301.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Addressing uncertainty and variability in pesticide risk assessments for birds and mammals (WEBFRAM-3)   (469k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2007

Cost: £303,774
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Keywords
Birds              
Chemicals              
Ecotoxicology              
Environmental Effects              
Environmental Protection              
Mammals              
Pesticide use              
Pesticides              
Pollution              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety