Environmental risk assessment: methods for comprehensive evaluation and quick scan

J.C. van Lenteren, A.J.M. Loomans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter, we first summarize the international situation with respect to environmental risk assessment for biological control agents. Next, we present the risk assessment procedure previously developed in the OECD and EU-ERBIC projects. Then, we propose anew, comprehensive risk evaluation method consisting of a stepwise procedure, which can be used for all types of biological control agents, used in augmentative and classical biological control programmes, for species or biotypes, and for native, established exotics or as yet unestablished exotics. This new comprehensive method solves weaknesses that we encountered when using the previous assessment methods: decision criteria are more clear and the decision to advise a release is taken at relevant steps in the process, thus preventing unnecessary research.We applied the new procedure to the 92 species of natural enemies mentioned inthe EPPO list of commercially available biological control agents. The elimination of obviously risky species early in the process, and the acceptance of other species that previously scored a high index, clearly show the improvements achieved the new procedure.For those natural enemies that have been in use for many years in certain ecoregions of the world we propose that environmental risks are evaluated by using a quick scan method, based on available information only. We have applied this method to all 150species of natural enemies that are currently commercially available in north-western Europe and concluded that about 5% of these (exotic) species were considered too risky for release in this region, while information was not sufficient for another 15%. However,the applicant could still try to undergo the comprehensive approach in order to get a permit for release.©CAB
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Impact of Invertebrates for Biological Control of Arthropods
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and risk assessment
EditorsFranz Bigler, Dirk Babendreier, V. Kuhl
Place of PublicationWallingford
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780851990583
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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