Development of surface water exposure scenarios for risk assessment of pesticides in Korea

Jin A. Oh*, Wim H.J. Beltman, Mechteld M.S. Ter Horst, Seong Nam Ham, Yeon Ki Park, Ji Young Shin, Kee Sung Kyung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Surface water exposure scenarios used in the risk assessment of Korea's aquatic ecosystems, were developed to represent the 90th percentile pesticide exposure situation as a part of the country's pesticide registration procedure. The scenarios are used to estimate the pesticide concentration in the water of a rice paddy and small streams for three protection goals: (i) mudfish in rice paddies, (ii) the aquatic ecosystem of small streams located near rice paddies, and (iii) the aquatic ecosystem of small streams located near fruit orchards. The scenarios were derived taking into account major exposure routes, such as spray drift, runoff, and drainage. The scenarios were parameterized for appropriate models including the pesticide root zone model (PRZM) and the toxic substances in surface waters model (TOXSWA). A total of 17 pesticide compounds and 28 formulated products were selected to test the risk assessment using the developed scenarios. The simulated predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) fully reflected a) the exposure routes for each protection goal b) the use patterns of the products c) physicochemical properties of the pesticides, and d) meteorological conditions of Korea. However, while assessing the risks for aquatic organisms we observed that for most of the selected pesticides the calculated exposure concentrations were higher than the regulatory acceptable concentration (RAC). To implement the exposure scenarios and models for pesticide authorization in Korea, further research on the RACs is needed. We also recommend studies to develop a higher-tier model and risk-mitigation measures that can be applied to the Korean situation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144790
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Aquatic ecosystems
  • Exposure scenarios
  • Pesticides
  • Republic of Korea
  • Surface water


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