Currently, the exposure and risk assessment of environmentally classified substances used in fertilizer formulations are mainly described in a qualitative way, because of the lack of appropriate tools for fertilizer end-use environmental exposure assessment.
Under the umbrella of Fertilizers Europe and the FARM REACH Consortium, the fertilizer sector has developed a fertilizer sector uses map. As a follow up of this work, sector specific ERCs (SPERCs) were developed, by grouping similar uses mainly based upon their physical form and application mode.
Next, a Fertilizers Environmental Exposure tool (FEE) tool was developed by Fertilizers Europe in cooperation with ARCHE Consulting, since in the standard REACH models for environmental exposure assessment (EUSES, ECETOC TRA, CHESAR), no local scenario for direct emissions to soil exists and direct releases from treated agricultural fields to surface water are not taken into account. In addition, important output pathways for fertilizers via crop uptake and harvest are generally not considered in these tools. Additionaly, in order to improve harmonization and communication within the supply chain, generic exposure scenarios were developed for a number of metallic micronutrient and SPERC combinations.
The FEE tool has been mainly developed for environmental exposure assessment of nutrients in fertilizers (Cu, Mn and Zn), but can also be used for assessment of other organic or inorganic substances present in fertilizers. The SPERCs, FEE tool, Generic exposure scenarios and other relevant documentation can be downloaded from the Fertilizers Europe REACH website: http://www.reachfertilizers.com.