An original approach for the identification of relevant pesticides mixtures at nationwide scale
Identifying pesticide mixtures at country-wide scale
Recommendation: posted 23 March 2023, validated 24 March 2023
Labadie, P. (2023) An original approach for the identification of relevant pesticides mixtures at nationwide scale . Peer Community In Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry, 100102. 10.24072/pci.ecotoxenvchem.100102
Over the last decades, pesticides have been massively used in agriculture and their impacts on both the environment and human health are a major growing concern (Humann-Guilleminot et al., 2019; 2019 Boedeker et al., 2020). Improving the prediction of wildlife exposure to pesticides and the associated impacts on ecosystems is therefore crucial. In general, ecotoxicological studies addressing the effects of pesticides include compounds that are selected based on general use over large areas (e.g. regions, country) or specific crop types. Such a selection does not necessarily reflect the mixtures to which species of wildlife are exposed in a particular ecosystem.
In this context, Cairo et al. (2023) present an original approach to identify relevant mixtures of current-use pesticides. Their approach relies on public data concerning pesticide sales and cropping, available at a nationwide scale in France and at a relatively high resolution (i.e. postcode of the buyer). Based on a number of clearly exposed and discussed assumptions (e.g. “pesticides were used in the year of purchase and in the postcode of purchase”), their approach allowed for identifying 18 groups that were discriminated by a reduced number of pesticides. Some compounds were found in most or all groups and were termed “core substances” (e.g. deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin). Other compounds, however, were associated with a limited number of groups and termed “discriminant substances” (e.g. boscalid and epoxiconazole).
The authors identified groups of molecules that are probably associated with the same mixtures, which warrants the investigation of potential synergetic effects. In addition, their approach allowed for the identification of areas where aquatic biota may be exposed to similar mixtures, which is might prove of interest to further investigate in situ the actual impacts of pesticide mixtures on ecosystems. Note that the approach taken by the authors might be applied by others in other countries, provided a database of pesticide sales is available.
Boedeker W, Watts M, Clausing P, Marquez E (2020) The global distribution of acute unintentional pesticide poisoning: estimations based on a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 20, 1875. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09939-0
Cairo M, Monnet A-C, Robin S, Porcher E, Fontaine C (2023) Identifying pesticide mixtures at country-wide scale. HAL, ver. 2 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry. https://hal.science/hal-03815557
Humann-Guilleminot S, Tassin de Montaigu C, Sire J, Grünig S, Gning O, Glauser G, Vallat A, Helfenstein F (2019) A sublethal dose of the neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid reduces sperm density in a songbird. Environmental Research, 177, 108589. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108589
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article. The authors declared that they comply with the PCI rule of having no financial conflicts of interest in relation to the content of the article.
This project was funded and supported by ANSES (grant agreement 2019-CRB-729 03_PV19) via the tax on sales of plant protection products. The proceeds of this tax are assigned to ANSES to finance the establishment of the system for monitoring the adverse effects of plant protection products, called ‘phytopharmacovigilance’ (PPV), established by the French Act on the future of agriculture of 13 October 2014. We wish to thank the steering committee of the project: Fabrizio Botta, Sandrine Charles, Marc Girondot, Olivier Le Gall, Thomas Quintaine, and Lynda Saibi-Yedjer. Milena Cairo was supported by ANR project VITIBIRD (ANR-20-CE34-0008) while working on this project. This work also benefitted from the support of the project ECONET (ANR-18-737 CE02-0010) and of the “Chaire Modélisation Mathématique et Biodiversité”.
Reviewed by Clémentine FRITSCH, 14 Mar 2023
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://hal.science/hal-03815557
Version of the preprint: 1
Author's Reply, 03 Mar 2023
Decision by Pierre Labadie, posted 15 Dec 2022, validated 15 Dec 2022
Major revision needed
Please find attached the two reviews that we have obtained for your manuscript. As you will see, the reviewers highlighted the originality and the quality of this work but they also raised a number of issues to be addressed. If you wish to do so, please provide us with a revised version together with a point-by-point answer to the reviewers' comments. Please outline every change made in response to their comments and provide suitable rebuttals for any comments not addressed.