PRIMET 3.0 for research purposes
PRIMET is the acronym for Pesticides RIsks in the tropics to Man, Environment and Trade. Within the last decades the agriculture sector in tropical regions has been intensifying at a rapid pace. A large increase in the use of external inputs, like pesticides, has taken place in many different agricultural sub-sectors such as horticulture. This increased productivity has been beneficial for human health in terms of food security. Pesticide exposure, however, may affect the environment and human health through different emission routes. For instance, via spray drift or runoff to surface water, accumulation in the topsoil, and leaching to groundwater. This potentially affects organisms in water, in and around soil and on plants and might also pose risks to humans via dietary exposure, in case they consume contaminated products like groundwater, macrophytes and fish. To estimate these risks the PRIMET Decision Support System was developed.
PRIMET 3.0 is able to estimate the risks of pesticide application to:
- aquatic life (acute and chronic risk),
- terrestrial life (acute and chronic risk),
- non target arthropods,
- the use of groundwater as drinking water and
- dietary exposure via the consumption of groundwater, vegetables, fish and macrophytes.
The risks are assessed at the household level, i.e. actual pesticide application data on a farmer’s level is needed as input parameters. The risk assessment is expressed in Exposure Toxicity Ratio’s (ETR) which are calculated by dividing the exposure by the ‘safe’ concentration. If the ETR is smaller than 1, i.e. the exposure lower than the 'safe' concentration the risk is acceptable. If the ETR is larger than 1 but smaller than a certain value (e.g. 100), a risk may present. If ETR’s are very large (e.g. >1000) risks are quite certain although the methods used are based on worst-case assumptions. The PRIMET 3.0 DSS is freely available via this website and incorporated in a Graphical User Interface.