EPA’s pesticide effects and exposure analyses for national risk assessment of endangered and threatened species
In utilizing recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides (National Research Council, 2013), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been developing new methodologies for assessing risks to federally-listed endangered and threatened (i.e., listed) species in support of its Biological Evaluations for pesticides. This national level assessment process involves the development of methodology that can be applied to approximately 2,000 listed, candidate and proposed species.
A weight of evidence analysis is used to identify the extent to which pesticide products according to registered labels are likely to result in adverse effects to listed species and/or modification of their designated critical habitat. This analysis integrates toxicity data, which are analyzed to consider lethal and sublethal effects and estimates of pesticide exposures through various routes (e.g., diet, inhalation). Species information such as life history, diet and habitat requirements, and migratory patterns are utilized to consider the relevant exposure pathways as well as indirect effects. This poster presents an example weight of evidence analysis and discusses future method development and data needs.