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Pesticide Reduction Using Friendly and Environmentally Controlled Technologies

Total activity: 2
Type of activity
Competitive project
Acronym
PERFECT LIFE
Funding entity
EURCOM-D.G.FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Funding entity code
LIFE 17 ENV/ES000205
Amount
122.700,00 €
Start date
2018-09-01
End date
2022-08-31
Abstract
Background
Pesticides applied to crops can enter soil and surface waters and percolate down
into groundwater. This can lead to biodiversity loss in terrestrial and aquatic
ecosystems, particularly of insect species not targeted by the pesticides.
Pollination, the formation and composition of soil, and drinking water quality
can all suffer as a result. Pesticide residues in food may also pose a risk to
human health while residues in animal feed can both harm the animals and enter
the food chain. Particular concerns have been raised about the health impacts of
human exposure to pesticides with endocrine-disrupting properties and the
associated costs to human health.
The EU Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides seeks to reduce the risks and
impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment. It also aims to
promote the use of integrated pest management and of alternative approaches
or techniques, such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides. EU Member
States have drawn up national actions plans to implement the Directive.
When pesticides are sprayed on crops, not all of the active substance reaches its
intended target, some of it drifts away. This 'spray drift' is considered the major
source of diffuse environmental contamination by crop farmers in Italy and
Spain. The Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides encourages the use of
mitigation measures to reduce environmental pollution. The efficiency of
existing means of mitigating the impact of spray drift, such as drift-reducing
nozzles and air deflectors, as well as the development of new strategies for its
reduction, is essential to minimise the release of pesticides into the atmosphere.

Objectives
PERFECT LIFE seeks to demonstrate new tools for reducing the impact of
pesticide spray drift on flora, fauna and human health. This will include tools for
optimal volume rate adjustment, to reduce the amount of pesticide sprayed, as
well as tools for drift reduction. The rate adjustment tools will be tested in citrus
groves and vineyards in Spain (Catalonia and Valencia), France (Languedoc) and
Italy (Piedmont). It will also modify a tool for fast direct atmospheric dioxin
detection, developed by an earlier LIFE project, to measure the impact of spray
drift in real agricultural conditions. A business plan for this device will be drawn
up. The project will develop procedures for low-impact pesticides application,
based on its findings. It will also share its know-how with farmers, agricultural
technicians, stautory agencies and governments to ensure widespread uptake.
The project thus helps to implement EU chemical policy in Mediterranean
countries, including both the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive and REACH
Regulation. It also supports the implementation of the Water Framework
Directive and the agri-environment measures of the EU common agricultural
policy.

Expected results:
A general procedure for low emission pesticide application using tools for
optimal volume rate adjustment and drift reduction;
An 8-20% reduction in plant protection products released into the
environment (8% in Languedoc, 9% in Piedmont and Catalonia, 20% in
Valencia);
A 10-15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the test plots;
An 8-26% reduction in the cost of applying pesticides;
An 8-13% reduction in water consumption;
A 10-19% reduction in carbon footprint;
A 25-50% reduction in pesticide airborne drift and associated risk for
bystanders;
A 10-20% reduction in pesticide risk for wild aquatic and terrestrial
organisms outside the areas sprayed;
Identification of inert compounds of pesticides and the main secondary
products from pesticide degradation in air;
Development and validation of a new instrument that can quickly measure
pesticide drift. This will be 80-90% quicker at sampling and analysis than
current methods;
A business plan for possible future commercialisation of the new
technology to determine pesticides in soil and air, study pesticide spray
drift and/or to assess the application of pesticides from a health standpoint
in real agricultural conditions;
A database of airborne drift values in the atmosphere and the relationship
between them. This will be use both direct and indirect measurements; and
Hazard Quotients less than 1 (no adverse effects) in risk assessment studies
for all compounds when using drift-reducing techniques.
Scope
Europa
Plan
LIFE+ (2014-2020)
Call year
2018
Funding call
LIFE+ call for proposals
Grant institution
European Commission. Directorate-general For The Environment

Participants

Scientific and technological production

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