Non-dietary human exposure
This guidance provides information on non-dietary exposure risk assessments for plant protection products (PPP) and active substances. It is not intended to be a complete guide but is a source of information relating to topics where advice is frequently sought.
Before PPP are placed on the market, they are assessed to ensure they do not have any harmful effect on human health. One aspect of this risk assessment considers exposure via non-dietary routes, including inhalation, dermal absorption and ingestion.
In a non-dietary exposure risk assessment, the following groups are considered:
- Operators: people (either professional or amateur) involved in activities related to the application of a PPP. These activities include mixing, loading, and application of a PPP, as well as cleaning and maintenance of equipment containing a PPP
- Workers: people who, as part of their employment, enter an area that has been treated with a PPP or who handle a crop that has been treated with a PPP
- Bystanders: people who are not involved in working with PPP but may be located within, or directly adjacent to the area where product application is in process or has recently been completed. Bystanders are assumed to be exposed during a short period of time and take no action to avoid or control exposure
- Residents: people who are not involved in working with PPP but who live, work or attend any institution near to areas treated with PPP. Residents are assumed to be exposed during a longer period of time than bystanders and take no action to avoid or control exposure
Assessing non-dietary exposure
The 2022 update to the EFSA Exposure Guidance has been implemented for EU and NI assessments from 1 January 2023.
HSE will adopt the 2022 EFSA Exposure Guidance in GB from 1 January 2024.
Prior to this date applications for authorisation of plant protection products in GB may be submitted either using the 2014 EFSA Exposure Guidance (EFSA Website) or the 2022 EFSA Exposure Guidance.
From 1 January 2024 all applications for the authorisation of plant protection products in GB should be submitted using the 2022 EFSA Exposure Guidance and the associated EFSA OPEX Model where appropriate.
HSE has reviewed this guidance and conducted a stakeholder survey on the proposal to implement it within GB.
You can view a summary of the comments received during the survey and a response to these comments in the outcome document.
Where appropriate, HSE has also provided information on possible refinements that could be applied to the assessment of non-dietary exposure of operators, workers, residents and bystanders.
Assessing non-dietary exposure to operators, workers, bystanders and residents
Guidance on the assessments required for non-dietary exposure to operators, workers, bystanders and residents are detailed on the following pages: