10 December 2018

Pesticide products are an important tool to fight against vector-borne diseases, such as malaria. The World Health Organization undertakes evaluation of pesticide products for use in public health. It is important to conduct a human exposure assessment of the end-use products during the handling, application and use of pesticides. The process of product approval also includes assessing exposures of operators and residents of different age, such as children and pregnant women.

WHO’s risk assessment models

The WHO has published generic risk assessment models for some pesticide products and have identified a need for the development of three new models mentioned below. Experts at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) have taken part in all the development processes so far. The first drafts of three new models for household insecticides, skin applied mosquito repellents, and insecticide treated clothing, were also prepared at FIOH.

All WHO risk assessment models are peer reviewed. An expert consultation took place in FIOH Helsinki, 29-31 August, 2018. The draft models were reviewed by experts, and manufacturers were able to present their views during an open session. At the moment, the WHO Secretariat is finalizing the models for publication, taking into account the recommendations of the experts.

Expert services of FIOH

In addition to preparing the generic risk assessment models, FIOH provides expert services for manufacturers of pesticide products preparing their applications for WHO approval. FIOH experts have provided risk assessments to manufacturers, for example, for insecticide-treated bed-nets according to WHO generic risk assessment model.

WHO meeting participants at FIOH in Helsinki

WHO meeting participants at FIOH’s headquarters in Helsinki