OBOMod - Integrated modelling framework for residents' exposure to pesticides

Daniel M. Figueiredo*, Roel C.H. Vermeulen, Cor Jacobs, Henk Jan Holterman, Jan C. van de Zande, Frederik van den Berg, Yvonne M. Gooijer, Luuk Lageschaar, Daan Buijtenhuijs, Esmeralda Krop, Anke Huss, Jan Duyzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pesticides can be transported from the site of application to homes via different routes and lead to exposure of residents, raising concerns regarding health effects. We built a deterministic model framework (OBOmod) to assess exposure of residents living near fields where pesticides are applied. Methods: OBOmod connects five independent models operating on an hourly timescale and high spatial resolution (meters). Models include descriptions of spray drift, volatilization, atmospheric transport and dispersion, exchange between outdoor and indoor air and exchange between indoor air and dust. Fourteen bulb field applications under different weather conditions and comprising 12 pesticides were simulated. Each simulation included the first seven days after the application. The concentrations computed with OBOmod were compared with those measured in outdoor and indoor air and the amounts measured in indoor dust samples. Results: Model evaluation indicated suitability of the developed framework to estimate outdoor and indoor air concentrations. For most pesticides, model accuracy was good. The framework explained about 30% to 95% of the temporal and spatial variability of air concentrations. For 20% of the simulations, the framework explained more than 35% of spatial variability of concentrations in dust. In general, OBOmod estimates remained within one order of magnitude from measured levels. Calculations showed that in addition to spray drift during application, volatilization from the field after spraying and pesticides in house dust are important routes for residents' exposure to pesticides. Conclusions: Our framework covers many processes needed to calculate exposure of residents to pesticides. The evaluation phase shows that, with the exception of the dust model, the framework can be used in support of health and epidemiological studies, and can serve as a tool to support development of regulations and policy making regarding pesticide use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153798
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date10 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022


  • Air
  • Airborne spray drift
  • Dust
  • Emission
  • Plant protection product
  • Vapor


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