PERFECT LIFE - PEsticide Reduction using Friendly and Environmentally Controlled Technologies

LIFE17 ENV/ES/000205

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Contact details:

Contact person: Amalia Muñoz Cintas
Email: amalia@ceam.es

Project description:


Pesticides applied to crops can enter soil and surface waters and percolate down into groundwater. This can lead to biodiversity loss in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, particularly of insect species not targeted by the pesticides. Pollination, the formation and composition of soil, and drinking water quality can all suffer as a result. Pesticide residues in food may also pose a risk to human health while residues in animal feed can both harm the animals and enter the food chain. Particular concerns have been raised about the health impacts of human exposure to pesticides with endocrine-disrupting properties and the associated costs to human health.

The EU Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides seeks to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment. It also aims to promote the use of integrated pest management and of alternative approaches or techniques, such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides. EU Member States have drawn up national actions plans to implement the Directive.

When pesticides are sprayed on crops, not all of the active substance reaches its intended target, some of it drifts away. This 'spray drift' is considered the major source of diffuse environmental contamination by crop farmers in Italy and Spain. The Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides encourages the use of mitigation measures to reduce environmental pollution. The efficiency of existing means of mitigating the impact of spray drift, such as drift-reducing nozzles and air deflectors, as well as the development of new strategies for its reduction, is essential to minimise the release of pesticides into the atmosphere.


PERFECT LIFE seeks to demonstrate new tools for reducing the impact of pesticide spray drift on flora, fauna and human health. This will include tools for optimal volume rate adjustment, to reduce the amount of pesticide sprayed, as well as tools for drift reduction. The rate adjustment tools will be tested in citrus groves and vineyards in Spain (Catalonia and Valencia), France (Languedoc) and Italy (Piedmont). It will also modify a tool for fast direct atmospheric dioxin detection, developed by an earlier LIFE project, to measure the impact of spray drift in real agricultural conditions. A business plan for this device will be drawn up. The project will develop procedures for low-impact pesticides application, based on its findings. It will also share its know-how with farmers, agricultural technicians, stautory agencies and governments to ensure widespread uptake.

The project thus helps to implement EU chemical policy in Mediterranean countries, including both the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive and REACH Regulation. It also supports the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the agri-environment measures of the EU common agricultural policy.

Expected results:

  • A general procedure for low emission pesticide application using tools for optimal volume rate adjustment and drift reduction;
  • An 8-20% reduction in plant protection products released into the environment (8% in Languedoc, 9% in Piedmont and Catalonia, 20% in Valencia);
  • A 10-15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the test plots;
  • An 8-26% reduction in the cost of applying pesticides;
  • An 8-13% reduction in water consumption;
  • A 10-19% reduction in carbon footprint;
  • A 25-50% reduction in pesticide airborne drift and associated risk for bystanders;
  • A 10-20% reduction in pesticide risk for wild aquatic and terrestrial organisms outside the areas sprayed;
  • Identification of inert compounds of pesticides and the main secondary products from pesticide degradation in air;
  • Development and validation of a new instrument that can quickly measure pesticide drift. This will be 80-90% quicker at sampling and analysis than current methods;
  • A business plan for possible future commercialisation of the new technology to determine pesticides in soil and air, study pesticide spray drift and/or to assess the application of pesticides from a health standpoint in real agricultural conditions;
  • A database of airborne drift values in the atmosphere and the relationship between them. This will be use both direct and indirect measurements; and
  • Hazard Quotients less than 1 (no adverse effects) in risk assessment studies for all compounds when using drift-reducing techniques.



Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry


agricultural method‚  water saving‚  emission reduction‚  Agriculture‚  environmental training‚  hazardous substance‚  risk assessment‚  pest control‚  knowledge development

Target EU Legislation

  • Land & Soil
  • COM(2006)508 - “Communication on the development of agri-environmental indicators for monitoring ...
  • Chemicals & Hazardous substances
  • Directive 2009/128/EC - A framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pestic ...
  • "Regulation 1907/2006 - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REA ...
  • Water
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Fundacin Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterrneo
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Mediterranean Centre for Environmental Studies (CEAM) is a centre of research, development and technological innovation to improve the natural environment in the Mediterranean. It offers comprehensive proposals for environmental management of the atmosphere, ecosystems, human activities and their interactions.
Partners Federació Cooperatives Agroalimentàries de la Comunitat Valenciana, Spain Università di Torino – Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie Forestali e Alimentari, Italy Fundació per al Foment de la Investigació Sanitària i Biomédica de la Comunitat Valenciana (FISABIO), Spain Institut français de la vigne et du vin, France Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias, Spain Sociedad Europea de Analisis Diferencial de Movilidad S.L., Spain Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Spain


Project reference LIFE17 ENV/ES/000205
Duration 01-SEP-2018 to 31-AUG -2023
Total budget 2,017,669.00 €
EU contribution 1,194,287.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Île,de,France(France) Champagne-Ardennes(France) Picardie(France) Haute-Normandie(France) Centre(France) Basse-Normandie(France) Bourgogne(France) Nord-Pas-De-Calais(France) Lorraine(France) Alsace(France) Franche-Comté(France) Pays de la Loire(France) Bretagne(France) Poitou-Charentes(France) Aquitaine(France) Midi-Pyrénées(France) Limousin(France) Rhône-Alpes(France) Auvergne(France) Languedoc-Roussillon(France) Provence-Alpes-Côte d' Azur(France) Corse(France) Guadeloupe(France) Martinique(France) Guyane(France) Réunion(France) Puglia(Italia)


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