Pesticide Cumulative Risk Assessment: Framework for Screening Analysis

EPA has published a guidance document, Pesticide Cumulative Risk Assessment: Framework for Screening Analysis

This document provides guidance on how to screen groups of pesticides for cumulative evaluation using a two-step approach:

  1. begin with evaluation of available toxicological information and, if necessary,
  2. follow up with a risk-based screening approach.  

This framework supplements the existing guidance documents for establishing common mechanism groups and conducting cumulative risk assessments.

During Registration Review, we will use this framework to determine if the available toxicological data for a group of chemicals suggest a candidate common mechanism group could be established. If we establish a common mechanism group, we may conduct a screening-level toxicology and exposure analysis to provide an initial screen for multiple pesticide exposure.  

By establishing guidance for conducting a screening-level analysis of chemicals that have potential cumulative risks, we will be able to more efficiently prioritize our cumulative risk assessments. Before development of this framework, cumulative assessments required extensive resources, large amounts of data, and sometimes involved labor-intensive scientific analyses.

This screening-level approach will ultimately allow us to address the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requirements to consider available information concerning cumulative effects of pesticides having a common mechanism of toxicity while efficiently using resources.

Background on the Cumulative Risk Assessment Framework for Screening Analysis

In July 2015, we requested public comment on the draft guidance document, Pesticide Cumulative Risk Assessment: Framework for Screening Analysis

As an example of how we would implement the guidance, we included in the docket a draft copy of the human health risk assessment for abamectin and emamectin benzoate, considering all risks. Using the proposed screening guidance, we determined that abamectin and emamectin benzoate should be considered a candidate common mechanism group because they share a similar toxicological profile. 

Consistent with the guidance, we then developed a screening-level cumulative analysis for these two pesticides using highly conservative exposure assumptions. This screening assessment indicates that cumulative aggregate dietary and residential exposures for abamectin and emamectin benzoate are below the Agency’s levels of concern.

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