T. Boulard, R. Brun, F. Hayer, G. Gaillard, F. Lecompte
Environmental acceptability of greenhouse production with respect to intensification is a controversial question. The environmental impact decreases with the use of impacting inputs while it increases with the intensification of the system. Choosing the right equilibrium between the necessary limitation of the inputs on one side and the necessary intensification of the system on the other side is an important question, giving contradictory results, often depending on the considered impact. In this study we focus on human and environmental toxicity and, based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of heated and non heated greenhouse tomato production in France, we have considered all the potential toxicity impacts of this production. As the spatial scale of the toxicological assessment used within LCA does not make allowance for the confined character of greenhouses, where toxic exposure is very local, we have completed this approach by an occupational indicator study, developed for evaluating the exposure of operators and workers to the active substances in plant protection products. Preliminary results of these studies show that considering LCA approach, the toxicological impact of pesticide application appears much lower than the use of heating (for heated production). Examining what happens inside the greenhouse, the occupational indicator study shows that both operators and re-entry workers have a risk index greater than 1 for a large percentage of the active ingredients used, the exposure being much larger for re-entry worker’s in tunnel than in multispan greenhouse. Scenario study shows that a simple protection policy was sufficient to lower the risk index of a factor 10.
Boulard, T., Brun, R., Hayer, F., Gaillard, G. and Lecompte, F. (2012). SOME RESULTS ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN TOXICITY INVOLVED BY GREENHOUSE TOMATO PRODUCTION IN FRANCE. Acta Hortic. 952, 367-375
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.952.46
greenhouse, tomato, LCA, exposure, environmental impact

Acta Horticulturae