About the website

This OECD website is intended to provide a central point where anyone can quickly find information about the regulatory approach for pesticide spray drift concerns of individual OECD member countries.  It also provides links to information that member countries consider to be scientifically valid and current.  This information may include peer-reviewed scientific papers that are in the public domain, validated spray drift models, spray drift field study results and other information important to spray drift risk assessment and risk management.  In selecting material for this website, the OECD experts places the greatest weight on it relevance and the soundness of the science behind it.

For more information, you may download the flyer about the website.

What is Spray Drift




The following definition applies to this website and inclusion of documents and information: Spray drift is the physical movement of spray droplets (and their dried remnants) through the air from the nozzle to any non- or off-target site at the time of application or soon thereafter. In this definition and use for this website, spray drift shall not include secondary movement of agricultural chemicals to non- or off-target sites caused by volatility, erosion, surface or groundwater transport or windblown soil particles that occurs after application.

This definition is intended to encompass the uninterrupted flight of a droplet from the nozzle to impact and capture by a physical object such as soil, plant surfaces, water body surfaces, animals, humans, and inanimate objects. The words ‘soon thereafter’ typically refer to a time period of less than an hour. However, if an application was done during a surface temperature inversion condition, it is possible for very small droplets to remain suspended in the air for a number of hours until atmospheric conditions change and air movement carries the droplets to some impact point. The essential concept is that spray drift occurs during the flight of the droplet from nozzle to eventual impact and capture off target and is not properly defined to include secondary movement of a chemical due to transport by other mechanisms such as subsequent soil erosion or direct volatility.

OECD Publication

The Report of the Seminar on Pesticide Risk Reduction through Spray Drift Reduction Strategies as Part of National Risk Management (ENV/JM/MONO(2009)36) presents the results of an OECD Seminar (June 2008) that looked at strategies to reduce pesticide spray drift and thus reduce risks posed by the application of pesticides on crops. Participants discussed various approaches for spray drift reduction (e.g. buffer zones, drift reduction technologies, labels), and developed several recommendations for promoting spray drift reduction technologies and policies, including the establishment of the NESD and the creation of this website.

Main part of the report

Complete report (size: 16MB)

More on the OECD Pesticide Programme

If you would like to know more about the other activities of the OECD in the area of pesticides, please click here.