|Nu-may, Ruby Reed|
Submitted to: Environmental Protection Agency
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2002
Publication Date: 4/1/2002
Citation: Adgate, J.L., Durkin, P., Engel, B., Freeman, N., Hattis, D., Heeringa, S., Macdonald, P.D., Portier, K., Potter, T.L., Nu-May, R. 2002. Cumulative and Aggregate Risk Evaluation System (CARES) Model Review. Report of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel, U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 2002. URL: http://www.epa.gov/scipoly/sap/index.htm#april. Interpretive Summary: The 1996 Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) changed the way pesticide food tolerances are established. It requires that residues in food and drinking water and impacts of residential pesticide use be combined when estimating exposure. Toxic effects of all pesticides with a common mode of action must also be summed. To aid the Environmental Protection Agency in this complex task, an industry group developed a software package, the Cumulative and Aggregate Risk Evaluation System (CARES). The agency convened an expert panel to review it. The panel concluded that several improvements were needed. Problems highlighted were a tendency to cause computer system crashes, lack of transparency in parameters used to calculate residential exposures, and the possibility that the population generator function used in dietary assessments does not provide accurate exposure estimates for high risk groups. Reviewers described ways to test the model to assess these concerns, enhance databases used as model inputs, increase computational speed and transparency and enhance operating system stability. Incorporation of these recommendations is expected to significantly improve CARES and in so doing improve the quality of pesticide risk assessments and the speed with which they are performed. This will benefit all FQPA stakeholders including the public, pesticide users, industry, and government agencies responsible for pesticide regulation.
Technical Abstract: The 1996 Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) changed the way the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) assesses risks of pesticide use. Both cumulative and aggregate exposures must now be considered. They are cumulative since consumption of residues in food and drinking water and incidental contact resulting from residential pesticide uses are combined. Aggregation provisions specify that toxic effects of all pesticides with a common mode of action be summed. Assessments of this type are highly complex and labor intensive. To aid USEPA in complex task, Crop Life America a trade group representing pesticide base manufacturers and formulators developed a model and software package titled the Cumulative and Aggregate Risk Evaluation System (CARES). USEPA Office of Pesticide Programs convened an expert panel to review CARES underlying science, computational approaches and ease of use. This report provides results of the panel's deliberations. A series of recommendations designed to improve the technical basis of the model and software system is provided. Incorporation of recommendations by CARES developers is expected to improve model accuracy and transparency, computational speed, and output format. This will benefit all stakeholders including government and industry scientists and pesticide users by improving the quality of pesticide risk assessments and the speed with which they are performed.