Copy of 71 factsheet 1

On 6 February 2024, the European Commission announced the withdrawal of the proposal for the EU Pesticide Reduction (Sustainable Use Regulation) (SUR), which had a central goal to halve the use and risk of pesticides in the EU by 2030. At the same time, the European Parliament just adopted, by a small margin, a proposal on the deregulation of new genomic techniques. Earlier in the year, it also became clear that the proposal for the Sustainable Food system law has been withdrawn from the European Commission work programme for 2024, thus effectively also shutting the initiative down for now. Effectively, this means that what is currently left on the negotiating table are technological solutions, i.e. new genomic techniques. 

With this statement, the Sprint project consortium would like to emphasize the continued and urgent need to reduce the use of and risk from synthetic pesticides, based on our findings:

  • A wide range of pesticides was detected in air, soil, water and also in homes near agricultural fields in different crop types in ten EU countries;
  • Analysis of blood, urine and faeces from 10 EU countries showed that pesticide residues are taken up via dietary and non-dietary exposure routes;
  • There is a concern regarding the potential impact of co-occurrence of pesticides in human and environmental matrices.

Read about our first published peer-reviewed papers on the pesticide residue monitoring results in our 6th newsletter.  Also, find out about a recent report on the environmental and economic sustainability of pesticides and a systematic review of the effects of pesticides on health. Make sure you don't miss out as new results emerge from the project, by subscribing to our newsletter on the homepage to recieve project news.

Sprint newsletter 6 release


Screenshot 2023 11 20 100303

A recent scientific study conducted as part of the Horizon 2020 funded SPRINT project, has unveiled the presence of pesticide residues in indoor environments. The study conducted across Europe and in Argentina, analysed 128 indoor dust samples from both conventional and organic farmworker households, shedding light on the scale of hazards people might be exposed to.

In contemporary agriculture, pesticides are widely used to safeguard crops against various threats. However, the unintended consequences of their use have raised significant concerns. The research, carried out by a team of respected scientists, sought to understand the scope of pesticide residue present in indoor environments and its implications for human exposure.

The comprehensive analysis, evaluating the presence of 198 pesticide residues, discovered a striking reality. Regardless of the household's farming practices, mixtures of pesticide residues were identified in all 128 dust samples. The number of pesticides in each home ranged between 25 and 121 and concentrations ranged from trace amounts to levels eight time higher (0.01 ng/g dust-206 μg/g dust). Notably, glyphosate and its degradation product AMPA, permethrin, cypermethrin, and piperonyl butoxide were detected at the highest concentrations.


Add a subheading

SPRINT partners at RECETOX, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic are advertising for a researcher in the field of pesticide data analysis, fate modelling, exposure and risk assessment. Are you a dedicated researcher, passionate about environmental exposures and what they mean for the environment, ecosystems and humans? Then this position could be for you.  

The deadline for applications is 14th December 2023. For more information, see the advert here

Group photo

The University of Bordeaux hosted the SPRINT Plenary for 2023, with the meeting in the city centre of Bordeaux. The week focused on updates on progress across the work packages and the general strategic direction of the project, with considerable development evident. As always, there was a strong team spirit as we tackled the challenges of creating cutting-edge science in a policy and political environment where tensions and contention are growing.

IMG 5963

Despite being at the centre of the heat wave afflicting Western Europe, the project team could complete the project's business and pay attention to our host's principal crop type of vineyard production. On the first evening, the President of the Regional Assembly greeted the SPRINT with a dinner highlighting regional produce and wine, where it was made clear of the scale of vineyard production and the health and environmental consequences for residents and producers. The field trip on Wednesday focused on efforts in the Saint Emilion Appellation to reduce pesticide dependency and the possibilities of organic management and traditional production practices.

IMG 5986

We thank our hosts for all the work they put into looking after the team, including tickets for public transport, and their thoughtfulness about the quality of our visit.