Estimating pesticide emission fractions for use in LCA: a global consensus-building effort

Fantke Peter, Antón Assumpció, Basset-Mens Claudine, Grant Tim, Humbert Sébastien, McKone Thomas E., Rosenbaum Ralph K.. 2016. Estimating pesticide emission fractions for use in LCA: a global consensus-building effort. In : 10th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food 2016 Book of abstracts. INRA. Dublin : s.n., pp. 414-418. LCA Food 2016: 10th International conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food, Dublin, Irlande, 19 October 2016/21 October 2016.

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Published version - Anglais
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Abstract : A practical challenge in LCA for comparing pesticide application in different agricultural practices is the agreement on how to quantify the amount emitted, while only the amount applied to the field is known. Main goal of this paper is to present an international effort carried out to reach agreement on recommended default agricultural pesticide emission fractions to environmental media. Consensual decisions on the assessment framework are (a) primary distributions are used as inputs for LCIA, while further investigating how to assess secondary emissions, (b) framework and LCA application guidelines and documentation will be compiled, (c) the emission framework will be based on modifying PestLCI 2.0, (d) drift values will be provided by German, Dutch and other drift modelers, (e) pesticide application methods will be complemented to develop scenarios for tropical regions, (f) climate, soil and application method scenarios will be based on sensitivity analysis, (g) default emission estimates for LCA will be derived from production-weighted averages, and (h) emission fractions will be reported spatially disaggregated. Recommendations for LCA practitioners and database developers are (a) LCA studies should state whether the agricultural field belongs to technosphere or ecosphere, (b) additional information needs to be reported in LCI (e.g. pesticide mass applied), (c) emissions after primary distribution and secondary fate processes should be reported, (d) LCIA methods should allow for treating the field as part of technosphere and ecosphere, (e) fate and exposure processes should be included in LCIA (e.g. crop uptake), (f) default emission estimates should be used in absence of detailed scenario data, (g) and all assumptions should be reported. The recommended pesticide emission fractions results and recommendations are presented and disseminated to strive for broad acceptance at a dedicated stakeholder workshop back-to-back with the current LCA Food 2016 conference in Dublin.

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Fantke Peter, Technical University of Denmark (DNK)
  • Antón Assumpció, IRTA (ESP)
  • Basset-Mens Claudine, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (MTQ)
  • Grant Tim, Life Cycle Strategies (AUS)
  • Humbert Sébastien
  • McKone Thomas E., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA)
  • Rosenbaum Ralph K., IRSTEA (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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