Pesticide Risk Tool Release Notes February 2016

Overview of Changes

The Pesticide Risk Tool now measures a wider range of environmental impacts, including a redesigned user interface and many new and improved features.

New Indices

In addition to the eight original indices covering the impacts on birds, earthworms, small mammals, aquatic ecosystems and worker/bystander health and safety, the Pesticide Risk Tool has five new indices:

  • Pollinator Index: Pollinators are vital not only to the environment, but also to food production. The Pollinator Index calculates the risk of pollinators such as wild or managed bees accumulating a lethal dose of a specific pesticide over a one-day period. Users will be able to see the impact of pesticide toxicity, application rate, application method and timing on the hazard quotient.
  • Acute Worker Dermal Index: Farm workers entering a field after pesticide applications can be exposed to harmful chemicals. The Acute Worker Dermal Index calculates the hazard quotient for specific pesticide to workers exposed to pesticides through contact with pesticides on the crop. Users will be able to see the impact of pesticide toxicity, application rate, application method, re-entry interval and work time in the field.
  • Dietary Risk Index: Consumers can be exposed to pesticides from residue left on crops. The Dietary Risk Index provides a hazard quotient for long term exposure to pesticide chemical through consumption based on residue data collected by the EPA.
  • Cancer Worker Dermal and Dietary Risk Indices: the Pesticide Risk Tool will also provide hazard quotients for carcinogenic pesticide chemicals for both farmworkers and consumers.

Improved Pesticide Risk Tool Workspace

The Pesticide Risk Tool now has an easy to use interface to assist in quick use of the tool.

  • The workspace has been redesigned from an accordion format to numbered tab to make the workflow more fluid.
  • Unnecessary or unused fields have been removed from the management unit section.
  • New fields needed for calculating some of the new indices have been added to
    • The create scenario section:
      • Bloom Start and End
      • Harvest date
    • The pesticide applications section:
      • Re-Entry Interval - time between pesticide application and workers re-entering the treated field
      • Work time - time workers spend in field the first time they enter after pesticide application
      • Gloves worn - did workers wear gloves while in the field?
  • The pesticide application table can now be sorted by pesticide product name or by active ingredient name. This will make searching for products or active ingredients in the chart easier.
  • Results charts have been split into 4 categories. This reflects the different areas of the environment pesticides can impact:
    • Environmental: Consisting of the seven original indices; aquatic algae, aquatic invertebrates, avian acute, avian chronic, earthworms, fish chronic and small mammals.
    • Human Bystander: Focus on risks to humans living or working nearby to pesticides applied; bystander inhalation, acute worker dermal and cancer worker dermal.
    • Consumer Dietary: Focus on risk to consumers from pesticide residue on food; chronic consumer dietary and cancer consumer.
    • Pollinators: shows the acute risk to pollinators either as one accumulated score or split into 3 sub-indices: in bloom, no bloom and off crop.

Improved Excel Uploader

The tool's excel uploader can now read multiple formats of application units meaning less work is required by the user to enter their spray records into the template.

Download Charts feature

Output charts from the Pesticide Risk Tool can now directly be downloaded with a single click.

Expanded Guide to Risk Scores

The guide to risk scores is now clearer with more detail and now includes an introduction to mitigation measure.


The Pesticide Risk Tool is a privately funded, non-profit tool. While in the past we were able to offer this service free of charge, we now rely on funding from users. Support through user subscriptions goes to expanding the scope and improving the accuracy of the tool as well as maintaining the website.

New and existing users will be given a ten-day free trial when they login, after which they will need to pay an annual fee for use. All data previously entered by the user will be saved.