Key messages: Chemical pesticide mixtures potentially pose a risk of adverse effects to soil organisms in 14% of the 3,473 sites monitored in the 2018 LUCAS survey. The insecticides imidacloprid and chlorpyriphos and the fungicide epoxiconazole were the main drivers of toxicity for the high-risk sites. All three were withdrawn from the list of approved active ingredients in 2020. Compared to a previous pilot study in 2015, results show no sign of progress towards risk reduction.

Distribution of risk quotients (RQs) for soil organisms across LUCAS pesticides sites in the EU-27+UK, 2018

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References and footnotes

  1. Vieira, D., et al., 2023, Pesticides residues in European agricultural soils - Results from LUCAS 2018 soil module, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, doi:10.2760/86566, JRC133940.
  2. Franco, A., et al., ‘Evaluation of the ecological risk of pesticides residues investigated in the European LUCAS soil monitoring 2018 survey’, (DOI: 10.1002/ieam.4917).
    a b c
  3. EU, 2018, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/783 of 29 May 2018 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the conditions of approval of the active substance imidacloprid (Text with EEA relevance. ) (OJ L 132, 30.5.2018, pp. 31-34).
  4. EU, 2019, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/168 of 31 January 2019 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances abamectin, Bacillus subtilis (Cohn 1872) Strain QST 713, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. Aizawai, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israeliensis, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, Beauveria bassiana, benfluralin, clodinafop, clopyralid, Cydia pomonella Granulovirus (CpGV), cyprodinil, dichlorprop-P, epoxiconazole, fenpyroximate, fluazinam, flutolanil, fosetyl, Lecanicillium muscarium, mepanipyrim, mepiquat, Metarhizium anisopliae var. Anisopliae, metconazole, metrafenone, Phlebiopsis gigantea, pirimicarb, Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain: MA 342, pyrimethanil, Pythium oligandrum, rimsulfuron, spinosad, Streptomyces K61, thiacloprid, tolclofos-methyl, Trichoderma asperellum, Trichoderma atroviride, Trichoderma gamsii, Trichoderma harzianum, triclopyr, trinexapac, triticonazole, Verticillium albo-atrum and ziram (Text with EEA relevance.) (OJ L 33, 5.2.2019, pp. 1-4).
  5. EU, 2020, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1643 of 5 November 2020 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the approval periods of the active substances calcium phosphide, denathonium benzoate, haloxyfop-P, imidacloprid, pencycuron and zeta-cypermethrin (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 370, 6.11.2020, pp. 18-20).
  6. EU, 2009, Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC (OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, pp. 1-50).
  7. EC, 2002, Guidance Document on Terrestrial Ecotoxicology Under Council Directive 91/414/EEC, Guidance document No SANCO/10329/2002 rev 2 final ( accessed 18 June 2023.