The agricultural sector in Colombia is one of the biggest consumers of pesticides. In several crop systems, there are no regulations regarding the appropriate use of these toxic substances. This fact suggests that studies about human exposure are required to determine the health risk faced by farmers and workers who are constantly handling these substances. Therefore, the goal of this project is to develop a human exposure assessment model that helps to identify the critical factors or activities suitable to be improved to reduce the level of exposure and the health risk. The expected results are of special interest for stakeholders to protect farmers’ health without affecting the crop productivity.
The objective of his project is to develop a human exposure assessment model for pesticide applications in developing countries. To reach this objective the following research questions will be addressed:
What is the current level of human exposure under the specific characteristics of the local farming systems?
How the flows of pesticide between the different environmental compartments of the system can be described, finding out the critical factors that affect these flows?
How dynamic parameters like the pesticide degradation rates and cumulative exposures can be integrated in a model that predicts the exposure and the health risk?