Investigations into the degradation and meta­bolism of agricultural chemicals in soils play a central role in the risk assessment of persistence, displacement tendencies and phytotoxicity for replicated crops. The test systems we use cover a wide range of laboratory and field experiments. As a baseline study we offer, amongst other things, degradation and metabolism studies in accordance with OECD 307. We conduct field experiments with 14C labelled agents at our field sites, as well as in our control area.
In this case, we combine the analytical advantages of 14C tracer technology with realistic experimental basic conditions. We close the gap between reproducible laboratory degradation studies and time-consuming field studies by using a novel laboratory incubation system with columns of soil taken recently from the field. Radioactively labelled plant protection products are applied to the columns of soil and the active ingredient is leached into the surface by way of initial sprinkling. The columns of soil are in a closed incubation system. Due to a constant air flow, volatile mineralisation products such as 14CO2 are collected and quantified. This enables mass balances to be carried out, making the design of the study consistent with guideline OECD 307.
We perform fate and exposure studies under good laboratory practice based on the relevant guidelines, as well as modelling for authorisations in accordance with EU Directive 91/414/EEC and national legislation. The development and application of higher tier test systems also forms a focal area of our research activity. Risk assessment on the basis of conservative baseline studies can therefore be expanded by a more realistic component.

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