In the EU and Dutch registration procedure, exposure assessment models such as PEARL, TOXSWA, SWASH and GEM, are used to evaluate the environmental risk of agricultural use of plant protection products. For each of these models substance specific parameters are required as input to calculate the relevant environmental exposure concentrations. Because a number of substance properties are the same for all of these models, SPIN has been developed to edit and store substance properties.

SPIN philosophy

SPIN is basically a database that stores substance properties that are relevant to the supported exposure assessment tools. The (graphical) user-interface facilitates access to the database and the interaction with the user.

Each substance has a unique code, a name and a short description. New substances can be added easily to the database by creating a new substance or by copying, renaming and editing an existing substance. Substance properties are organized according to the process they address, i.e. ‘sorption’, ‘transformation’ and ‘crop processes’. To facilitate easy creation of new substances, example substances are provided for each host application, which can be copied and modified. 

The database itself can be copied and exchanged between users, whereas substances with their properties can also be exported and imported using a pre-described procedure. SPIN automatically creates a new database when it does not detect an existing database e.g. when the old database has been removed or when no prior installation of a SPIN version has been done.

SPIN is linked to exposure assessment tools, which are referred to in SPIN as host-applications: FOCUS_SWASH, FOCUS_TOXSWA and GEM. FOCUSSPIN can only be downloaded from the FOCUS DG SANTE website.

SPIN can be run in two different modes; in the standalone mode all substance properties are accessible and can be filled in, when started by a host application only the host-specific properties are accessible and can be filled in.

SPIN has been developed such a way that all new releases of SPIN can communicate with host applications that have been released earlier in combination with a previous version of SPIN (downward compatible). An import/export option in SPIN enables easy exchange of data.