Pesticides agricoles et biocides

Pesticides: Risk Indicators


1. Principles and Criteria for Pesticide Risk Indicators
2. Collecting Statistics on Pesticide Use and Sales
3. The 2nd OECD Workshop on Pesticide Risk Indicators and Survey on National Indicators
4. Terrestrial Risk Indicators (TERI)
5. HAIR Project



In 1997-2004 the OECD Pesticide Programme carried out a project to develop indicators that can help governments to track trends in risk resulting from agricultural pesticide use. Two sets of indicators were developed:  Aquatic Risk Indicators (ARI) and Terrestrial Risk Indicators (TERI). The indicators combine information on pesticide risks and use in order to show risk trends at a national or regional level. The indicators are intended to help governments measure progress in meeting their pesticide risk reduction goals.

In parallel to and related to this project, a number of activities were started on collecting and using data on pesticide usage and sales.

Now (2013-2014), the OECD is restarting its activities on pesticide risk indicators and is considering all existing indicators worldwide, including the HAIR indicators (developed in the EU framework). The Expert Group on Pesticide Risk Indicators will review them all and will decide on next steps for working towards the development of pesticide risk indicators for OECD countries.

Principles and Criteria for Pesticide Risk Indicators

The project began with a workshop in Copenhagen in April, 1997 Report of the [1st] OECD Workshop on Pesticide Risk Indicators , at which the OECD member governments agreed that pesticide risk indicators:

  • should be scientifically robust and user friendly 
  • should link hazard and exposure data with data on pesticide use 
  • should complement but not replicate or compete with the tools used for pesticide registration and risk assessment 
  • should address risks to man, and the environment separately.

1. Aquatic Risk Indicators (ARI)

Following the Copenhagen workshop, the Pesticide Programme initiated a project to develop and test indicators for tracking trends in risks to aquatic organisms. The project developed, tested and experimented with three different indicators for tracking aggregate aquatic risk resulting from agricultural pesticide use. The project examined such issues as: the impact of data gaps on indicator results; the use of sales statistics as a basis for estimating pesticide use; the driving forces of pesticide risk indicators; simplicity vs. complexity in indicator design; and presentation of indicator results. The project was completed in December 2001. The results are presented in the three reports listed below. Also available is the computer software that was developed to run the three indicators and instructions for using it.

1.1. Project Reports

Report of the OECD Pesticide Aquatic Risk Indicators Expert Group  (Paris, 2000)

  • this is a report of the first phase of the project, in which the indicators were designed and tested;
  • it provides the rationale and specifications for the three indicators.

Summary Report of the OECD Project on Pesticide Aquatic Risk Indicators  (Paris, 2002)

  •  this is a summary of the results of the entire project;
  •  it includes observations and reflections on the development and use  of indicators

Technical Report of the OECD Project on Pesticide Aquatic Risk Indicators  (Paris, 2002) 

  • this is a report of the second phase of the project;
  • it includes detailed reports from the six governments that experimented with using the indicators to produce national risk trends.

Finally, the following short document provide the summary conclusions and the lessons learnt during this project.

Introduction by the OECD Working Group on Pesticides to the Report of the OECD Project on Pesticide Aquatic Risk Indicators (Paris, 2002)

1.2 OECD Aquatic Risk Indicators Computer Program

The computer program that runs the three OECD Aquatic Risk Indicators uses a Microsoft Access database, which contains values for hazard and exposure properties of approximately 300 pesticides. It also contains tables (e.g. for crops and pesticide use) to be completed by the user. 

OECD Aquatic Risk Indicators Computer Program: User Guide  (instructions for using the program that runs the three indicators, including instructions for filling in the tables).


Instruction to download:

  • Click on "Auswahlen" to select a location to save the program and create a folder for it.
  • Click on "Entpacken" to download the program to the designated folder.
  • " Abbruch" to abort.
  • Go to the folder where you saved the files, and click on "prototype.mdb" to start.

 Download the program here.

2. Collecting Statistics on Pesticide Use and Sales

The project prompted the OECD Pesticide Programme to contribute to, and recommend use of, a set of guidelines published by Eurostat, the European agency for statistics:  

In 1997 and in 2008, the OECD carried out two surveys to better know about countries’ approaches to the collection and use of pesticide usage and sales data. The survey reports follow below:


3. The 2nd OECD Workshop on Pesticide Risk Indicators and Survey on National Indicators

The 2nd workshop was organised at the end of the first phase of the aquatic risk indicator project.  The workshop brought OECD governments together to decide how to implement the indicator project. Also, a survey of pesticide risk indicators being used by OECD countries was carried out.

4. Terrestrial Risk Indicators (TERI)

The Pesticide Programme carried out a project on terrestrial risk indicators from mid-2002 to 2004. The TERI final report is available here.

5. HAIR Project

The OECD Pesticides Programme followed closely the development and outcomes of the  EU-funded HAIR project (HArmonised Environmental Indicators for Pesticide Risk) which addresses risks to aquatic and terrestrial organisms, ground water, public health (including pregnant women) and applicators of the pesticides.
For more information, visit the HAIR project website and the HAIR2010 website that includes the software package.




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