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Vol. 35 No. 2
March-April 2013

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives.
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Harmonized Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Nano-Pesticides in the Environment

Nanotechnology is emerging as a highly attractive tool for formulation and delivery of pesticide active ingredients. For example, nanocapsules based on polymers are being designed for controlled release of active ingredients as well as enhanced delivery by way of improved penetration through leaves. Some active ingredients are being reformulated to harness the extraordinary properties of nanomaterials. While a clear definition of nano-pesticides is still being sought, the term commonly refers to application of nanotechnology in delivery or formulation of pesticides. It is, however, not clear how the fate, behavior, and ecological risks of nano-pesticides differ from conventionally formulated pesticide active ingredients. There is a need to assess potential risks associated with nano-pesticides in a harmonized and scientifically sound way. Therefore, it is essential to develop a set of criteria or guiding principles on the basis of which the environmental risk of nanopesticides can be evaluated. Owing to the complexity of nano-pesticide formulations, the current approach applied to conventional non-nanopesticides is not directly applicable to nano-pesticides. This IUPAC project aims to address that gap by developing a set of guiding principles for informing the ecological risk assessment of nano-pesticides in the environment.

This project brings together international scientists from around the world (Europe, North America, Australia, Asia) including researchers, regulators, and industry. Links have also been established with the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials Steering Group 6 through Phil Reeves (APVMA, Australia). Although OECD is focusing mainly on human health and the manufacturing environment, its framework and materials on risk assessment are highly relevant to this project.

The key activities associated with the project include two specialist workshops, one each in 2013 and 2014. It is proposed that the 2013 workshop be held in Europe in May 2013, coinciding with the SETAC Europe meeting in Glasgow. The workshop is being organized in York (UK) and will be hosted by the University of York. The second major event would be held in San Francisco, a special symposium at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry in August 2014.

For more information, contact Task Group Chair Rai Kookana <Rai.Kookana@csiro.au>.

www.iupac.org/project/2012-020-3-600

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