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Posted by Michael Scott on August 18, 2016

NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 6-9, 2016

The Third International IUPAC Conference on Agrochemicals protecting Crop, Health and Natural Environment (APCHNE) – New Chemistries for Phytomedicines and Crop Protection Chemicals was held at the National Agricultural Science Complex, part of India’s premier research institute. Waterborne’s Senior Environmental Engineer, Isha Khanijo, was a presenter and session chair at the conference.

IUPAC held an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) Workshop at the APCHNE Conference to educate regulators and the agrochemical industry of India about ecological risk assessments. The workshop also served to create awareness regarding risk assessment procedures that are in place in other countries of the world.

Isha gave three presentations on risk assessment and modeling exposure of pesticides at the workshop. Attendees included representatives from India’s regulatory agency, Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC), CropLife India, CropLife Asia, Syngenta India, Bayer India, DuPont India and local generic manufacturers.

ohn Unsworth (left), Consultant & IUPAC Project Leader, and Isha Khanijo (right), Senior Environmental Engineer, co-chairing at the 2016 ERA Workshop in New Delhi, India

ohn Unsworth (left), Consultant & IUPAC Project Leader, and Isha Khanijo (right), Senior Environmental Engineer, co-chairing at the 2016 ERA Workshop in New Delhi, India

India currently has requirements for submission of toxicity, residue and metabolism studies for registration. However, registration decisions are not based on a risk assessment process as they are in the US and EU, where risk is estimated on modeled exposure and toxicity endpoints for most sensitive species. Workshop content focused on US and EU risk assessment procedures, data (studies) needed for risk assessment, exposure modeling techniques needed for risk assessment and examples of how other developing countries have adopted risk assessment procedures.

Attendees were interested to learn about exposure modeling techniques and risk assessment procedures. The regulators seemed open to accepting risk assessment procedures for India. However, the regulators expressed concerns about applying exposure modeling procedures due to existing issues faced in India. These issues include:

  • extensive use of spurious pesticides,
  • incorrectly following label instructions due to farmer illiteracy,
  • unaware of the need to use a particular chemical for a particular pest, and;
  • small land holdings.

Interest about learning more on drinking water risk-assessment procedures was noted as a recommendation for future IUPAC workshops. The CIBRC regulators, who were in the process of finalizing bystander exposure guidelines, talked about challenges faced in modeling bystander exposure because most farmers in India do not use protective equipment for application of pesticides due to extremely hot temperature conditions.

The conference was very well attended by scientists and researchers from around the world and conducted with famous Indian hospitality. Isha co-chaired one of the plenary sessions and judged posters presented over three days. It was a great opportunity for her to connect with regulators and other industry representatives from India. Since Isha was the only workshop presenter who knew the local language and understood the culture, a lot of workshop attendees felt comfortable reaching out to her and to ask questions.