Some recent headlines from the project:

2nd International Fresenius Conference for the Agrochemical Industry

4 and 5 December 2012 in Mainz/ Germany

Present from the Browse project: Clare Butler Ellis, Pieter Spanoghe, Thies Oosterwijk

On Tuesday December the 4th at 7:00 the alarm clock rang in a luxurious hotel room of the Atrium in Mainz, Germany.

After an excellent breakfast, the conference had a few main topics. Firstly, there was an update on the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) draft guidance document on pesticide exposure for Workers, Operators, Bystander and Residents. The update was discussed by representatives from industry who were there in large numbers. Apart from industry (including the European crop protection agency, ECPA), regulators from various member states, consultants and researchers were participating. Even the US EPA and CropScience Canada were present.

There was an interesting discussion between industry and the regulators on the topic of dermal adsorption data. They did not seem to agree on the level of expected dermal adsorption of a wide range of plant protection products.

In total 3 new exposure models were presented during the conference. A model based on the EFSA draft guidance document and a model developed by BFR and the BROWSE models. The Browse model presentations started on Wednesday morning when Thies Oosterwijk gave a talk on Work package 1 of the Browse project. The talk focused on the introduction of the project and on our Operator exposure modeling method. Pieter Spanoghe presented WP 2 and described the worker modeling approach and Clare Butler Ellis talked the audience through the Bream model, the Silsoe spray drift model and then the Browse model for bystanders and residents. The Browse project presentations were received very well and we were complimented on the amount of work done so far. The critical audience was rather positive about our new approach to model exposure, which was mechanistic (at least for operators and resident/bystanders) rather than a traditional empirical model.

At the end of the conference the various member states presented their implementation of the Sustainable Use Directive on pesticides. The Finish, German and Italian government each seemed to have different approaches to the implementation but were all dealing with a very limited budget.

All in all the conference was a success and the Browse project had a good and positive impact on the conference. We made a good impression with the various stakeholders by explaining the scientific background of our exposure models.

Thies Oosterwijk,

TNO, Risk Assessment of Products in Development (RAPiD)

Copies of the presentations may be viewed on our Publications, Presentations & Posters page

BROWSE at Fresenius Conference

Partners from the BROWSE project will be presenting the modelling approaches that have been developed in work packages 1 to 3 at the 12th International Fresenius ECOTOX Conference from 27 to 28 November 2012 in Mainz, Germany.

Priorities for training and communication

In September 2009, the Council of the European Union adopted the Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides (SUD). The core idea is that in order to achieve sustainable use of pesticides, it is important that everyone is conscious about the risks to both human health and the environment associated with the use of plant protection products. Therefore, training and raising awareness play key roles in order to achieve the objectives of the SUD.

One of the main objectives of BROWSE is to contribute to the implementation of the SUD through the development and dissemination of communication materials for training and raising awareness. For this reason, a consultation process was implemented involving all relevant stakeholders in order to identify their opinions regarding the subjects to be prioritised, the factors influencing pesticide exposure to be focused on and the most suitable formats to develop training and awareness-raising material as well as identification of target groups.

To collect the required information, participants were asked to answer an electronic questionnaire, giving the possibility through several debates for additional comments. The collected findings and the ensuing debates are described in this article and are going to be taken into account in the development of the BROWSE training and communication material for the raising of awareness.

The aim of the process was to obtain important information regarding the audience, purpose and design of the materials and also regarding how they can be designed to integrate efficiently with existing materials and initiatives, and how their uptake by organisations delivering training and communication can be facilitated.

The paper published in the journal Science of the Total Environment (Gabriele Sacchettini et al., 2012) describes the relevant information obtained that will be used as the starting point for the development of the BROWSE training and communication material for raising awareness.

To view the paper, visit:

4th BROWSE project meeting

The 4th BROWSE project meeting was held on 26th-28th June 2012, hosted by TNO in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Stakeholder Workshop: Training Materials for Sustainable Use Directive and Indicators

The BROWSE stakeholder consultation on training materials for the sustainable use directive and indicators was held on the 14th and 15th December 2011. The first day focused on developing the detailed plans for BROWSE contributions to improving training and awareness-raising. During the day several experts were invited to present the latest information on current activities and initiatives for training and communication, including activities of the Commission, Member States, ECPA and trade unions.

The second day focused on developing the detailed plans for BROWSE contributions to the development of harmonised EU risk indicators. Again, some experts were invited to present the latest information on current activities, especially actions already underway or planned by the Commission, e.g. DG SANCO and DG RESEARCH, EUROSTAT and EFSA.

3rd BROWSE project meeting

The 3rd BROWSE project meeting was held on 6th-8th December at Alterra in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

BROWSE stakeholder consultation on user-friendly software

The BROWSE stakeholder consultation on user-friendly software was held in Brussels on 17th November 2011.

BROWSE at AgChem Forum

Rianda Gerritsen (TNO) to present at AgChem Forum STREAM 2 Human Safety in Barcelona on 8th September 2011. Title of presentation: "Development of improved approaches for exposure of operators, workers, bystanders and residents".

2nd BROWSE project meeting

The 2nd BROWSE project meeting was held on 20th - 22nd June in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Initial stakeholder workshop

The first BROWSE stakeholder workshop was held in Brussels on 14th April 2011. If you would like to participate in future stakeholder activities, please contact us via:

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BROWSE website launched

The BROWSE website was launched on 13th June 2011. The Website will be used to disseminate project outputs (such as public reports and software) and for external networking.

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