Note 2. Figure 6.4b shows that the eco-burden of pesticide emissions in E-LCA (‘soil’ and ‘air’) are much lower than the internalities of pesticides in the product (‘çrop’), except from tubers and roots, like potatoes. In the calculations of Fig.6.4b, ‘soil’ is the area at the farm, and ‘air’ is blowing away from the farm. Eventually, this ‘air’ fraction will deposit in the soil around the farm. In E-LCA it is common practice to assume that the total quantity of a pesticide that is applied, will end up in the soil in and around the farm (e.g. in the World Food LCA Database). The fraction that leaves the farm in the product is neglected (a realistic safe-side assumption). This assumption seems to be in contradiction with Fig. 6.4b, but is not: the reason is that pesticides decay quite rapidly (with a common half-life of a few days, maximum weeks, but not month). The small fraction of pesticide in the product reaches the human body much faster than the main fraction does via the soil.
General E-LCA data on production and emissions at the farm can be found in:
excel table ‘ecocosts pesticide production and emissions’
E-LCA data on specific emissions (from UseTox V1.12 tables) can be found in:
excel table ‘ecocosts pesticide emissions’
Note that the main eco-burden of pesticide emissions in this list is related to eco-toxicity (rather than human toxicity).