FOCUS DG SANTE

Welcome to the home page of FOCUS DG SANTE, i.e. the FOrum for Co-ordination of pesticide fate models and their USe. From this site you can obtain the currently approved versions of FOCUS simulation models and FOCUS scenarios, that are used to calculate the concentrations of plant protection products in groundwater and surface water in the EU review process according to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. Furthermore this site contains links to the reports of all FOCUS workgroups.

This website is refered to by the EC website on Food Safety under "Guidelines on Active Substances and Plant Protection Products" - Fate and Behaviour.

 
 Overview of FOCUS DG SANTE

Plant protection products have an important role in agricultural production and food security, and ensuring their safety to man and the environment is of paramount importance.

FOCUS DG SANTE stands for FOrum for the Co-ordination of pesticide fate models and their USe and was an initiative of the European Commission to harmonise the calculation of predicted environmental concentrations (PEC) of active substances of plant protection products (PPP) in the framework of the EU Directive 91/414/EEC, which meanwhile has been repealed and replaced by the new Regulation (EU) No 1107/2009 . The work of FOCUS was based on a close co-operation between scientists of regulatory agencies, academia and industry, under the auspices of the Commission's DG SANTE, and subject to the opinion of EFSA, or in the case of the surface water guidance and tools the Commissions Scientific Committee on plants.

The work started  in 1993 via the FOCUS Leaching Modelling Workgroup and the installation of the FOCUS Steering Committee. Subsequently several other working groups were installed covering all environmental compartments. Today, it can be observed that all important fate issues have been duly covered by high quality reports and guidance documents which provide the necessary assessment tools, not only for the evaluators and the manufacturers, but also for the designated competent authorities for product authorisations. This vast work was concluded in 2014, with the finalisation of the Groundwater II Report. Evidently, amendments to these guidance documents may still be necessary, while especially the underpinning mathematical models need systematically update and improvement, as to keep pace with scientific progress. The Version control group is playing a crucial role in this field as it controls the adequacy of the models over time, increases their user-friendliness and ensures a bug-free functioning in the different digital environments in which they must operate.

 

 

This website is the one and only definitive source of the currently approved version of the FOCUS scenarios and associated models and input files. Furthermore the site contains links to all workgroup reports.

 Version Control Standard scenarios are valuable because they increase the consistency of the regulatory evaluation process by minimising the subjective influence of the person who performs the calculation. Standard scenarios also make interpretation much easier, and enable the adoption of a consistent scientific process for a Tier 1 evaluation of the leaching potential of substances at the EU level. To ensure that the scenarios are truly standardised it is important that a strict version control process is in place. FOCUS has set up a Version Control Workgroup as a standing body to ensure that version control is maintained. This group ensures that the usefulness of the scenarios as a standardised form of assessment is maintained over time, whilst also ensuring that any bugs are identified and removed and that the scenarios are updated to reflect scientific progress.

This website is the one and only definitive source of the currently approved version of the FOCUS scenarios and associated models and input files.

Regularly a version of a FOCUS model is replaced with a newer version. This may be done to eliminate reported bugs, to increase the user-friendliness or to improve the science of the model (see the “Notice Board” of the FOCUS homepage for examples). So far this happened at an average rate of two times per year for each of the models. Usually there will be a time lapse of 6-12 months between reporting of a FOCUS modelling study by the Notifier and its evaluation by the Rapporteur or other reviewers. So the model used in a study is usually not the most recent version at the moment that the study is evaluated. We will attempt to give guidance here on how to deal with this problem.

The general rule is that the simulations have to be re-run if there has been a major change in the model. But if there has been a minor change in versions, then the Rapporteur or other reviewers should use judgement to decide whether the simulations need to be re-run, based on the information on the website about the nature and impact of the exact changes made. So it is recommended to study carefully the release notes provided with the model versions that are more recent than the version used in the study and to compare the standard test results of the most recent version with those of the version used in the study (all available at the website).

E.g. FOCUS MACRO 2.2.1 was released because the previous version did not run for vines and pome/stone fruit. So calculations with the previous version for other crops will then still be acceptable. E.g. FOCUS PRZM 2.2.1 was released because of a bug when describing biphasic degradation and increased sorption with time. These are phenomena that are not considered in standard FOCUS PRZM applications. So runs with the previous FOCUS PRZM version will in general be still acceptable.

It may also be relevant to consider the concentration level. If a new version produces concentrations that differ about 10% from the earlier version, then this change is usually not significant for a regulatory assessment.

In general the modelling should be done by the Notifier. So if re-runs are required, then the Rapporteur or other reviewers should request the Notifier to re-run the models.


 Documentation

Workgroup reports

The following workgroup reports are here available:

The report of the FOCUS Workgroup on Groundwater Scenarios and the report of the FOCUS Workgroup on Surface Water Scenarios can be found at the documentation pages of these workgroups at this FOCUS site.

FOCUS Constitution

Here is the FOCUS Constitution available as agreed by the FOCUS Steering Committee in 2001.

Special agreement for use of meteorological data

For the meteorological data there is a special agreement to which all users of scenarios are committed. The agreement is listed below:

The meteorological data used within FOCUS are provided by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and are subject to the following conditions:

  • The supplied meteo data should be used exclusively for the activity of FOCUS models and inputs for pesticides registration in the context of Council Directive 91/414/EEC.
  • Only within the context of this activity, users are allowed to circulate JRC meteorological amongst them on an electronic/numerical format.
  • The meteo data will not be supplied separately, in whole or in part, to any third party.
  • The proprietary rights and copyright of the data remain with JRC. Articles, papers, scientific or commercial works of any form, based in whole or in part on data supplied by JRC, will contain the following acknowledgement concerning the supplied data: "Meteo data provided courtesy of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission ; Copyright European Communities 2000"
  • The recipient of the data will accept responsibility for informing all data users of these conditions.
 FOCUS Notice Board This page contains the information which has been sent out to the FOCUS users mailing list, concerning the download, installation and use of the FOCUS scenarios.
        
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_4.4.3 (03/Feb/2016): Clarification of the types of concentrations contained in the FOCUS_TOXSWA 4.4.3 output files Runid.SUM and Runid.OUT which are different to earlier versions of TOXSWA. Click here for the details.

  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_4.4.3 (30/Nov/2015) Warning: Viewing report file. The FOCUS_TOXSWA shell gives an error when after finalising a run its report is requested for the crops 'pome/stone fruit, early applns',  'pome/stone fruit, late appln' and 'grass/alfalfa'. The forward slash in the crop name is misinterpreted by the html editor that makes the report. For these three crops the results of the run have to be viewed in the summary file, which can be obtained via the menu bar via 'View' and 'Summary file'. 

  • FOCUS_PRZM_GW 4.6.2 has been released. (6/June/2015). The release has addressed a bug in the previous version regarding the selection of CAM 8 and includes the Q10 of 2.58 for metabolites (this erroneously remained as 2.2 for metabolites and needed to be manually corrected in the 3.5.2 release).

  • Document Generic Guidance for Surface Water Scenarios (version 1.4) and the software packages FOCUS_STEPS_ONE_TWO  3.2, FOCUS_SWASH 5.3, FOCUS_SPIN 2.2, FOCUS_TOXSWA 4.4.3 and FOCUS_PRZM_SW 4.3.1 have been released. (22May/2015). Applicants and member states should be aware that maximum PEC in surface water and sediment for active substances will be essentially the same as those that were calculated with the previous versions of the model packages (noting that MACROv 5.5.4 should have been used for simulations in applications made after 1 May 2015). Therefore there is no utility in routinely requesting new modelling submissions with these most recent package releases of 22 May  in respect of the exposure and  risk assessments for active substances. However for metabolites it is proposed that new calculations should be submitted that use these latest releases of the tools as soon as is practicable. It is recommended that older version of the tools should not be accepted to support metabolite exposure and risk assessments in applications that are made after 1 December 2015.
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO v5.5.4 (12/February/2015) has been released. Simulations done with MACRO v5.5.4 at FOCUSsw scenario D2 are more similar to MACRO v4.4.2 than were generated by MACRO v5.5.3 (the modelling parameter that has been amended at D2 is ’ZMIX’) . The FOCUS version control group therefore advises that the definitive version of MACRO to be used when preparing applications for approval and authorisation under Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 is now MACRO v5.5.4. FOCUS MACRO v4.4.2 should not be used within applications made after 1 May 2015
  • Release and regulatory use of Sanco/13144/2010, version 3, 10 October 2014 and SANCO/12117/2014-final, 12 December 2014 noted by the Commission Standing Committee on the Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. (20/Jan/2015). Sanco/13144/2010, version 3, 10 October 2014 is available to download from the groundwater pages.   The version control documents 'Generic Guidance for Tier 1 FOCUS Ground Water Assessments version 2.2 May 2014' and ‘Generic guidance for Estimating Persistence and Degradation Kinetics from Environmental Fate Studies on Pesticides in EU Registration’ version 1.1 December 2014’ are also made available and replace versions 2.1 and 1.0 respectively. These version control documents reference and have been updated to reflect the EFSA (2014) Guidance Document for evaluating laboratory and field dissipation studies to obtain DegT50 values of active substances of plant protection products and transformation products of these active substances in soil. EFSA Journal 2014;12(5):3662, 38 pp., doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3662 Available online: www.efsa.europa.eu/efsajournal which was noted with an implementation schedule as specified in SANCO/12117/2014-final December 2014. Applicants may choose to follow this set of updated documentation as guidance for submissions from today. They should ensure that these documents have been used when completing environmental exposure assessments in dossiers for all applications submitted to European competent authorities on or after 1 May 2015. Applicants should be aware that whilst higher tier groundwater exposure modelling taking into account increased adsorption with time  is included in Sanco/13144/2010, version 3, 10 October, best practice in experimental methodologies for estimating increased sorption with time and the subsequent incorporation of this process in modelling has been a subject of both some scientific research and regulatory debate. Though a draft guidance document has been produced on this topic by FERA in the UK (available from the CRD / HSE website www.pesticides.gov.uk), this FERA authored draft guidance is the subject of a European Commission mandate  to the Plant Protection Product and their Residues (PPR) panel of EFSA for an opinion. Therefore though the approaches described in the draft FERA guidance might be used in regulatory submissions, there will be more regulatory uncertainty regarding acceptance by competent authorities than for the other guidance discussed here that is finalised and noted by the standing committee of the Commission and Member States.
  • FOCUS_MACRO v5.5.3 (19/February/2013) The Commission's FOCUS version control group is aware that for some application periods and substance properties, calculated surface water concentrations generated when FOCUS MACRO 5.3.3 is used for simulations can, at some surface water scenarios, diverge by a proportion, that is more than is desirable compared to when FOCUS MACRO 4.4.2 is used in simulations. (Concentrations can be both higher and lower depending on the scenario). The reasons for this are being thoroughly investigated. In the next release of FOCUS MACRO a convergence with maximum surface water concentrations, with those produced by FOCUS MACRO 4.4.2 is being sought. The FOCUS version control group therefore advises, that pending the release of the next FOCUS MACRO package, regulatory submissions where FOCUS MACRO 4.4.2 has been used for surface water assessments, should continue to be considered satisfactory as the basis for regulatory submissions. Submissions based on FOCUS MACRO 5.5.3 also continue to be considered satisfactory as the basis for regulatory submissions.
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO v5.5.3 (05/December/2012) : Because of the implementation of the equation in this version of MACRO that adjusts substance degradation rate in soil, as soil moisture changes (over the range between half wilting point and field capacity), to ensure that this relationship is implemented in a comparable way to that of the other soil root zone models, the 'exponent for moisture response' used in FOCUS_MACRO v5.5.3 simulations must be set at 0.49. This is in contrast to the value of 0.7 that it was appropriate to use in FOCUS_MACRO v4.4.2. The other FOCUS soil root zone models (that implement the Walker equation, over the range between zero water content and field capacity) must continue to use a Walker equation exponent (B value) of 0.7. Until a new FOCUS_MACRO package is released, FOCUS_MACRO v 5.5.3 users will need to manually replace 0.7 with this value of 0.49 in the 'pesticide properties' and 'pesticide metabolite properties' input screens of the MACRO shell before executing MACRO runs. In the next MACRO package release, this need to manually change the exponent for moisture response from 0.7 to 0.49 should become redundant.
  • Release and regulatory use of Sanco/13144/2010, version 1, 13 June 2009, agreed by the Commission Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (provided by EFSA).(11/Apr/2011) The last work group of FOCUS 'Assessing Potential for Movement of Active Substances and their Metabolites to Ground Water in the EU' finalised their report after receiving comments from the Member States in June 2009. Subsequently in the late autumn /winter of 2010, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) agreed that applicants could make use of the report, considering that it should be ascribe the status of a 'working document'. The Commission and Member States confirmed that they would use assessments that followed the tier 1 assessment procedures prescribed in the report, for regulatory decision making. To facilitate this the FOCUS work group's report, a version control document ('Generic Guidance for Tier 1 FOCUS Ground Water Assessments version 2.0 January 2011') and the groundwater modelling packages FOCUSPEARL 4.4.4, FOCUSPELMO 4.4.3 and FOCUSPRZM GW 3.5.2 are released for use in regulatory submissions today. In due course a new FOCUS MACRO package will be released that will be compatible with the recommendations of this report for the Chateaudun groundwater scenario (it is currently being tested by the FOCUS version control testing procedures). The report Sanco/13144/2010, version 1, 13 June 2009 supplements the original FOCUS groundwater scenarios report (Sanco/321/2000 rev.2), so the guidance contained in both reports needs be considered. The version control document 'Generic Guidance for Tier 1 FOCUS Ground Water Assessments version 2.0 January 2011' replaces the version control document 'Generic guidance for FOCUS groundwater scenarios version 1.1 April 2002.' Regulatory submissions can be made from today following the tier 1 approaches as outlined in the new report and version control document. Sanco/13144/2010, version 1 recommends regulatory submissions may continue to be made in accordance with the older Sanco/321/2000 rev.2 guidance for up to one year from today. When this approach is selected applicants should ensure a Q10 of 2.58 is used, (see **Notice Board** entry of 11/Mar/2009) and provide results from FOCUSPEARL 3.3.3 and FOCUSPELMO 3.3.2 or FOCUSPEARL 3.3.3 and FOCUSPRZW GW 2.4.1 simulations, in line with the regulatory practice in place before the release of Sanco/13144/2010, version 1. Applicants are also free to follow the higher tier approaches outlined in Sanco/13144/2010, version 1. As always with any higher tier approach, regulatory acceptability for the exposure assessment of the approach taken, is the subject of greater scrutiny by Rapporteurs, other Member States and EFSA than tier 1 assessments. In particular applicants should be aware that best practice in experimental methodologies for estimating increased sorption with time and the subsequent incorporation of this process in modelling has been a subject of both some scientific research and regulatory debate. The report Sanco/13144/2010, version 1, 13 June 2009 is not noted SCFCAH guidance as the European Commission has mandated the Plant Protection Product and their Residues (PPR) panel of EFSA to deliver its opinion on the report, before it will present Sanco/13144/2010 to the SCFCAH for noting.
  • Technical advice on the Q10, agreed by the Commission Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (provided by EFSA). (11/Mar/2009) The documentation and FOCUS models that are available for download from this website all refer to and use by default a Q10 of 2.2 (PELMO and PRZM) or Arrhenius activation energy of 54000 J mol-1 (PEARL and TOXSWA) or alpha factor of 0.079K-1 (MACRO) in simulations. Following the noting of the EFSA PPR panel opinion on the Q10 http://www.efsa.europa.eu/EFSA/efsa_locale-1178620753812_1178680761578.htm by the Commission Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, simulations carried out using these FOCUS guidance documents and associated models that will be submitted to a Rapporteur Member State should no longer use these defaults as input in the FOCUS modelling exercises that are included in regulatory dossiers provided for annex 1 listing. For the moment when simulations are carried out, it is necessary for the user to manually overwrite these values in the relevant input screens of the model shells (groundwater) or the SWASH shell (surface water). To comply with the noted guidance the updated values to use for this overwriting are a Q10 of 2.58 (PELMO and PRZM) or Arrhenius activation energy of 65400 J mol-1 (PEARL and TOXSWA) or alpha factor of 0.0948 K-1 (MACRO). It is planned to produce updated releases of the models and model documentation via the version control procedures to implement these changes. Until these are available, the procedure for manually overwriting these defaults as described above needs to be followed. When field dissipation trial results are normalised to a reference temperature of 20°C following FOCUS kinetics guidance this should be done using the Q10 of 2.58 or the equivalent Arrhenius activation energy of 65400 J mol-1.
    Note the one exception to the above (as discussed by the Commission Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health) is that where applications for annex 1 listing are made under Commission Regulation (EC) No 33/2008 of 17 January 2008 or Commission Regulation (EC) No 737/2007 of 27 June 2007, exposure assessments or field dissipation trial normalisations that use the values of a Q10 of 2.2 or Arrhenius activation energy of 54000 J mol-1 or alpha factor of 0.079K-1 will continue to be considered as the basis for decision making, when the dossier provided in applications under these regulations include assessments using these older values.

  • FOCUS_TOXSWA v2.2.1 (20/July/2006) The manual of FOCUS_TOXSWA v2.2.1 has been finalised and is available as PDF or as hardcopy.
    So, the ‘TOXSWA_in_FOCUS User Manual’ (Appendix L of FOCUS, 2001) has now been replaced by ‘W.H.J. Beltman, M.M.S. Ter Horst, P.I. Adriaanse, A. De Jong, 2006, Manual of FOCUS_TOXSWA v2.2.1. Alterra-rapport 586. Wageningen, the Netherlands’.
    Compared to Appendix L some improvements have been made, e.g. the parameterization of a water-sediment study has been described.
    You can download it at http://www.toxswa.pesticidemodels.eu/Downloads.html or make a request for a hardcopy at toxswa-swash@wur.nl.

  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_2.2.1 (26/Jan/2006) : WARNING :
    (2) Non-zero initial concentrations in the water layer cannot be handled by TOXSWA 2.2.1 in FOCUS Step 4 runs. When a non-zero concentration has been entered, TOXSWA crashes and reports a mass balance error. Work-around: Transform the wished initial concentration in the water layer into a corresponding spray drift loading. Add the spray drift loading to the TOXSWA input file (Section 4: increase number of loadings, 'ntldsd', and insert as first loading with dummy date, 'chatldsd', dummy application rate, 'applot', and spray drift loading, 'mldsd'). Add the loading also in the header of the m2t or p2t input file (increase number of applications, and insert first application timed at the first day of the simulation, with dummy application rate) to enable TOXSWA to check and approve the correspondence between the txw and m2t or p2t file. Please take notice that spray drift loadings are default set at 9 a.m. in FOCUS runs, so the time of mass loading will not equal the start of the simulation at midnight (0:00 h). This bug will be repaired in the next release.
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_3.3.2 (25/August/2005) : Warning :
    Option "Relative application dates" may lead to unwanted changes of the application dates in the input file

    When reloading pesticide input files into the shell, that use the option "relative application dates", the listbox indicating "before/after" the respective crop status is not always updated (left blank). If the file is saved again the application dates in the input file are changed compared to the initial version of the input file.

    Workaround:
    If the user notices that problem he should reset manually the correct value for the option "before/after" before saving the file.

  • 04/Jul/2005 : Note on harmonisation of crop interception values of FOCUS Ground Water and FOCUS Surface Water Scenarios
     
  • FOCUS_SWASH_1.1 (14/June/05) : NOTE :
    Additional information about Repairing the SWASH database.

    In the SWASH warning dated 05/May/04 it is stated that MS Access version 97 should be used to Compact and Repair the database.

    We now have the following information for you:

    1. The SWASH software package is distributed in Ms Access version 97.
    2. If you have a database problem contact the focus.helpdesk@jrc.it to obtain the password of the SWASH database.
    3. If a user has a newer version of Ms Access (e.g. version 2000 or 2003), he can convert his database from Ms Access 97 to this newer version.
    4. Next, in this newer version, he can select menu option Tools - Database Utilities. Use the option Compact and Repair Database. Close the database and restart using the SWASH database, after having checked that the database is still called SWASH_db.mdb and is located at the directory \SWASH\Data.

    As said in the 05/May/04 warning, the background of this problem is that the database is sometimes not 'cleaned' properly by Ms Access, when many records have been deleted and/or re-created. Recognizing this problem the options Compact and Repair Database were added to the Ms Access software package.

    The SWASH database is secured by a password to prevent users from messing up the database, thus causing a possibly incorrect behaviour of the SWASH User Interface.
     

  • FOCUS_SWASH_1.1 (06/June/05) : NOTE :
    The SWASH User’s Guide has been finalised and is available as pdf or as hardcopy (Alterra report). The "SWASH User manual" (Appendix H of FOCUS, 2001) has now appeared as: "F. van den Berg, P.I. Adriaanse, J.A. te Roller, 2005. FOCUS Surface WAter Help (SWASH) version 1.1. User’s Guide version 1. Alterra-rapport 507. Wageningen, the Netherlands". Compared to Appendix H some slight improvements have been made, e.g. an index and a ‘Day in year calendar’ have been added. You can download it or make a request for a hardcopy of the report at toxswa-swash@wur.nl
     
  • FOCUS_SWASH_1.1 (06/Jun/2005) : Swash error which is the same error as the one reported as number 11 of the compilation list of errors for FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1. Users may have suffered from this error without noticing. Note : This error note makes reference to FOCUS_TOXSWA_2.2.1, which is under preparation, thus not officially released yet.
     
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1 (06/Jun/2005) : Updated list of all known bugs for FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1
    In this compilation all known bugs described up to now at this website have been merged and the description sometimes has been slightly changed or improved. Moreover a number of new bugs have been added. These are numbered from 8 to 13. Your attention is drawn to bug number 11 : This is the only bug (of the 6 new bugs) that may occur without noticing by the user, because there is no crash or error message and still causes erroneous results. It is expected that this will be the final situation concerning the 1.1.1 version: FOCUS_TOXSWA_2.2.1 is in preparation for official release ; in this new version all known bugs of TOXSA have been repaired.
     
  • FOCUS_PRZM_SW__1.1.1 (11/March/2005) Error :
    Users have encountered problems using PRZM in FOCUS with long filename lengths. Until this error is corrected, users should select filenames which do not exceed 55 characters, including the pathname. (e.g. C:\SwashProjects\grapes\przm\vines_early_applns is 34 characters long and will work).
     
  • FOCUS_PEARL_2.2.2 (03/Nov/2004) Warning :
    WARNING: FOCUS_PEARL_2.2.2 sometimes crashes for substances (parents or metabolites) with Freundlich exponents exceeding 1.0. In such case, the run stops saying that a negative concentration occurred. If no such error message occurs, there is no problem. There are no work arounds to avoid this error. The user could consider to modify the value for the Freundlich exponent to a value of 1.0; the run would then be completed without error.It is anticipated that this bug will be solved in the next release.
     
  • FOCUS_PEARL_2.2.2 (02/Sep/2004) Warning :
    The calculation of the temperature-dependency of the sorption coefficient contains an error which implies that the model does not consider this dependency. Thus all calculations are performed with a sorption coefficient that is no function of temperature. This bug influences only results of runs in which the molar enthalpy of sorption was set to a non-zero value. Such runs are exceptional because zero is the default value and because measurements of this molar enthalpy are usually not available.
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_2.2.2 and FOCUS_PELMO_3.3.2 (23/Jun/04) Warning :
    The maturation and harvest dates in Sevilla are swapped. The user should not consider relative application dates for the following location/growth stage combination:
    * Sevilla
    * application related to harvest or maturation date
    Instead either absolute application dates should be entered or the application dates should be related to the emergence date.
     
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1 (19/May/2004) :
    on 04/January/2004, TOXSWA developers reported a bug "Message 'I/O Error 103' pops up when clicking the 'Calculate' button to start the TOXSWA calculations." for which a preliminary solution scheme was proposed (note 5) ; today, the TOXSWA developers present an update of the possible solution ; read note 6
     
  • FOCUS_SWASH (05/May/2004) : WARNING :
    potential error messages with the use of SWASH : After introducing a considerable number of substances or projects into the SWASH database, deleting some of these and next, re-creating some, two types of error messages may occur. Please read this note.
     
  • FOCUS_SWASH (16/Apr/2004) :
    Problem with the use of SWASH with non-English versions of Windows : Problem : User receives error message of SWASH-GUI: "Failed to update PRZM project file (przm.prj)", when clicking on the PRZM icon or "Write Substance Data" button in SWASH. Next, the user fails to import a SWASH project file in the PRZM shell. The reason is that SWASH fails to update the PRZM project file (przm.prj) for non-English language Windows versions.
    Before SWASH starts PRZM, it updates the przm.prj file, that contains a list of all SWASH projects and their creation date. PRZM requires an English date format (i.e. dd-MMM-yyyy). However in some other language versions of Windows this date format is not a valid format, (e.g. the French version has jj-MMM-aaaa) and therefore SWASH fails to update the przm.prj file and the file remains empty.
    This problem will be solved in the next release of SWASH. Up to then, the only solution is to use an English language version of Windows.
     
  • MACRO SW (FOCUS_MACRO_4.4.2) (16/Mar/2004) :
    The precipitation data file for irrigated bulb vegetables at D6 (TH_IBV_P.BIN) for MACRO SW is in error. The data for the 16 month assessment period (1986-1987) is correct, but the six-year warm-up period has the wrong rainfall data. The incorrect rainfall data still comes from the D6 weather station data, but from the wrong period. A new version of MACROinFOCUS, where this problem will be fixed, is under development.
     
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1 (04/Feb/2004) :
    Message ‘I/O Error 103’ pops up when clicking the ‘Calculate’ button to start the TOXSWA calculations. Hereafter the project is locked : read note 5 .
     
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1 (09/Dec/2003) :
    The TOXSWA/SWASH team at Alterra has finalised the tightened test program for all possible combinations of parents and metabolites with respect to all data users can input via SWASH to MACRO, PRZM and TOXSWA. The errors found have been reported to you:
    - in the message of 28 November (incorrect Koc value transferred to MACRO in case of Detailed sorption option for metabolite)
    - in the message of 24 November (incorrect substance properties selected in TOXSWA shell), that will be completed in the message of today.
    The team also designed a work-around for the problem with TOXSWA and tested this. Please read note 4.
     
  • WARNING TO ALL SWASH and MACRO USERS (28/Nov/2003)
    There is a problem with MACRO runs for metabolites, defined with the ‘Detailed’ option on the ‘Sorption’ tab page in SWASH. The metabolite run with MACRO is performed with a Koc value of 0 for sorption onto soil, instead of the value entered in the SWASH shell under the heading ‘Soil’
    (Select: Create, View and Edit Substances
    tab sheet ‘Sorption’
    put bullet: ‘Detailed’)
    If the sorption capacity has been defined with the option ‘General’ (the most likely option) SWASH transfers the correct Koc value to MACRO.
     
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1 (24/Nov/2003) :
    A very serious bug has been found in TOXSWA runs for metabolites. The error could have consequences for dossiers already submitted for registration or to be submitted soon. Read note 3.
     
  • MACRO (SW) : Warning (28/Oct/2003) :
    The surface water sunflower scenario at D5 cannot be run with MACROinFOCUS because one of the parameter values is missing in the database. The user can easily fix this by opening the database 'crops.mdb' with Microsoft Access (do not upgrade the database if you are given the option to do so), open the table 'crop' and find the field 'fawc', which is currently empty. Write in the value 0.35.
     
  • FOCUS_PEARL 1.1.1 Warning (21/October/2003) :
    PEARL 1.1.1 contains a bug for the option ‘Kf user defined’ in the ‘Freundlich sorption’ screen; the model will not run for this option. The bug has been solved in FOCUS_PEARL_2.2.2.
     
  • FOCUS_PEARL_2.2.2 (07/Aug/2003) has been released.
     
  • FOCUS_STEPS_ONE_TWO_1.1 : Warning (22/Jul/2003).
    There is a problem on step 2 in the report, section, "Results of the calculation for the respective single application pattern" if multiple applications has been selected: The results on day 0 often come out as 0.0 for surface water and for sediment.
    If that happens the user should take the respective numbers from the main form of steps1-2 where they are reported correctly. The bug will be fixed soon.
     
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1 (08/jUl/2003) :
    Another bug was found, read note 2.
     
  • FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1 (13/May/2003) :
    Release of known bugs in FOCUS_TOXSWA_1.1.1, read note 1 .
     
  • all FOCUS PRZM versions : Warning (30/April/2003) (valid for all FOCUS PRZM versions):
    The user should be aware that FOCUS PRZM is using the Phase2 DT50 of a bi-phasic degradation for the time period directly after application. Phase1 DT50 is used after the bi-phasic switching time. An easy work around for this behaviour is to define the two DT50 input values of the PRZM shell manually in the appropriate way.
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_3.3.2 released (25/Jul/2002) (more...)
     
  • (29/Apr/02)   A new version of the Generic Guidance for FOCUS Groundwater Scenarios (version 1.1) has been released : the latest version 1.1 differs from the previous version 1.0 in that several values in the crop interception table (Table 1.6) have been changed and some footnotes to this table have been added.  As a result, the page numbering in the report and Table of Contents was changed.
     
  • FOCUS_PRZM_2.4.1 released (22/Apr/2001) (more ...)
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 has been re-released (19/Dec/2001) (problems with installation of an earlier FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 version have been solved  (people who tried to install an earlier version of FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 should read installation instructions)
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_2.2.2 released (23/Nov/2001) : A bug has been discovered in FOCUS PELMO 2.2.2 ! The current shell does not support user specific soil moisture correction for biodegradation. If pesticide input files are created, only the recommended soil moisture correction (related to 100 % field capacity) will be considered. The bug will be fixed soon.
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 Important Note (31/Oct/2001) : Because of serious installation problems of FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 experienced by the user , downloading of this latest version of FOCUS_MACRO has temporarily been disabled ; the MACRO developers will try to solve the problem as soon as possible and you will be informed about the latest developments.
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 released (08/Oct/2001) (more...)
     
  • FOCUS_PRZM_2.3.1 - Warning (05/Oct/2001) : Predicted groundwater concentrations of the FOCUS PRZM shell 2.3.1 may be wrong  for parent with two metabolites ... (more ...).
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_2.2.2 released (1/Oct/2001) (more ...)
     
  • FOCUS_PRZM_2.3.1 released (14/Sept/2001) (more ...)
     
  • FOCUS_PRZM_2.2.1 released (2/Apr/2001)
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO_2.2.1 released (28/Mar/2001)
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO_1.2.1 - Warning (12/Mar/2001) : The program will not run vines and pome/stone fruit at Chateaudun, because the value of LAIHAR (leaf area at harvest = 0.01) is not accepted by the model definition file (MACRO.DEF).
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO_1.2.1 released (09/Mar/2001)
     
  • FOCUS_PRZM_1.1.1 - Warning (06/JMar/2001) : Another bug was found the FOCUS_PRZM_1.1.1 shell : the increased sorption feature does not work properly when the option to make an application every other or third year is chosen. 
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_1.1.1 - Warning (06/Mar/2001) : A small bug has been discovered in FOCUS_PELMO_1.1.1 that may lead to some confusion if simulations are performed using the combination "Thiva/apples/recommended irrigation". Because of wrong headers in a number of meteorological data files "irrigation for grass (+alfafa)" is written into the PELMO echo file instead of "irrigation for apples". However, that does not influence any simulation result, FOCUSPELMO is always using the correct irrigation pattern (apples).
     
  • FOCUS_MACRO_1.1.1 - Warning (07/Feb/2001) : A bug has been discovered in FOCUS_MACRO_1.1.1. Only very occasionally, the 80th percentile concentration may be incorrectly written to the screen.(see more ...)
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_1.1.1 - Warning (22/Jan/2001) : There is an error in the format of one of the FOCUS PELMO 1.1.1 scenario data files. Simulations using the combination strawberry and Sevilla are currently not running. Instead PELMO writes a short error message into the file ECHO.PLM. This problem has no influence on any other combination of crops and locations. The bug will be fixed soon.
     
  • FOCUS_PRZM_1.1.1 - Warning (9/Jan/2001) : The FOCUS_PRZM_1.1.1 contains a few bugs which will be fixed as soon as possible in the next release. However, if  'parent only' simulations for a single location are applied,  it is not expected that the results produced by the next release will differ from the results produced by FOCUS_PRZM_1.1.1. (see more ...)
     
  • FOCUS_PEARL_1.1.1 released (8/Jan/2001)
     
  • FOCUS_PELMO_1.1.1 - Important Note (19/Dec/2000) : The license agreement which is included in the  FOCUS PELMO 1.1.1 package (file PELMO License Agreement)  does not apply until further notice.
 What is new in Focus 

 

Latest news on FOCUS Groundwater and Surface Water Scenarios on this FOCUS Web site.

  • 6/June/2015:    The software package FOCUS_PRZM_GW 4.6.2 has been released. The release has addressed a bug in the previous version regarding CAM settings and includes the Q10 of 2.58 for metabolites (this erroneously remained as 2.2 for metabolites and needed to be manually corrected in the 3.5.2 release).
  • 22/May/2015:    Document Generic Guidance for Surface Water Scenarios (version 1.4) and the software packages FOCUS_STEPS_ONE_TWO  3.2, FOCUS_SWASH 5.3, FOCUS_SPIN 2.2, FOCUS_TOXSWA 4.4.3 and FOCUS_PRZM_SW 4.3.1 have been released. The PRZM_SW 4.3.1 release has addressed some bugs in the previous version. The Document Generic Guidance for Surface Water Scenarios (version 1.4) describes in detail the changes that are facilitated by the other package releases. Step 1 and 3 calculations from these releases for active substances give results that are essentially the same as those that were calculated with the previous versions of the model packages. At Step 2  active substance PEC may be lower for citrus, higher for cereals up to BBCH39 and higher for vines and pome / stone fruit at full canopy (due to changes in crop interception values, note if peak concentrations result from just spray drift events maximum PEC will not change).  The main consequence of the release of these packages, is that at Step 1 and 2, PEC for metabolites will often be higher than with earlier versions of the calculator (as formation of metabolite from active substance running off or draining from soil is now included in the calculations).  At Step 3 TOXSWA will now calculate metabolite formation within the water body. The previous versions of TOXSWA were not able to do this. With the release of these packages, older FOCUS guidance that explained a step 3 ‘work around’ to introduce estimated metabolite mass into the water body as pseudo spray drift deposition is no longer needed / has become redundant.
  • 12/February/2015:    FOCUS_MACRO 5.5.4 released. This release has converged drainage results from the D2 surface water scenario to values more in line with MACRO v4.4.2 than was the case for MACRO v5.5.3. Bugs regarding metabolite file naming have been  resolved. The MACRO model in the FOCUS_MACRO package remains MACRO 5.2. The Chateaudun groundwater scenario definition implemented in this MACRO package is that outlined in Sanco/13144/2010, versions 1 and 3. FOCUS_MACRO 5.5.4 is, from now, the definitive version of MACRO to be used when preparing applications for approval and authorisation under Regulation (EC) 1107/2009. FOCUS MACRO v4.4.2 should not be used within applications made after 1 May 2015. The Document Generic Guidance for Surface Water Scenarios version 1.3 is also made available, the document has been updated regarding the selection of pesticide property input parameters to reflect the EFSA Guidance Document for evaluating laboratory and field dissipation studies to obtain DegT50 values of active substances of plant protection products and transformation products of these active substances in soil. (EFSA Journal 2014;12(5):3662, 38 pp., doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3662 Available online: www.efsa.europa.eu/efsajournal), including the use of geomean Koc / Kom. Applicants may choose to follow these new elements included in this generic guidance for submissions from today. They should ensure that this document has been used when completing environmental exposure assessments in dossiers for all applications submitted to European competent authorities on or after 1 May 2015
  • 20/Jan/2015:    Documents: Assessing Potential for Movement of active substances and their metabolites to groundwater in the EU Sanco/13144/2010, version 3, 10 October 2014, Generic Guidance for Tier 1 FOCUS Ground Water Assessments version 2.2 May 2014 and Generic guidance for Estimating Persistence and Degradation Kinetics from Environmental Fate Studies on Pesticides in EU Registration’ version 1.1 December 2014 have been released: these versions have changed from versions 1,  2.1 and 1.0 respectively to accommodate EFSA Plant Protection Product and their Residues (PPR) panel opinions on the FOCUS 2009 groundwater report and the EFSA Guidance Document for evaluating laboratory and field dissipation studies to obtain DegT50 values of active substances of plant protection products and transformation products of these active substances in soil. (EFSA Journal 2014;12(5):3662, 38 pp., doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3662 Available online: www.efsa.europa.eu/efsajournal). 
  • 27/May/2013:    FOCUS_PELMO 5.5.3. This version will form metabolites as a result of photolytic transformation at the soil surface. This differs from the previous released version, where transformation by photolysis at the soil surface limited the sink for this process to bound residues / CO2. Implementation of crop parameterisation has been updated to facilitate simulations of crop rotations for higher tier assessments. There is no change in respect of crop definitions for standard first tier FOCUS scenarios.
  • 05/Dec/2012:    documents, Generic Guidance for Surface Water Scenarios (version 1.2) and 'Generic Guidance for Tier 1 FOCUS Ground Water Assessments version 2.1 have been released: these versions differ from 1.1 and 2.0 in that they clarify that when using the latest release of MACRO the 'exponent for moisture response' value for use in simulations should be set as 0.49.
  • 04/June/2012:    FOCUS_MACRO 5.5.3 and FOCUS_PRZM_SW 3.1.1 released. These releases overcome error messages and installation problems on 64 bit VISTA and Windows7 operating systems, that were experienced with the previous versions. The MACRO model in the FOCUS_MACRO package is MACRO 5.2. The Chateaudun groundwater scenario definition implemented in this MACRO package is that outlined in Sanco/13144/2010, version 1, 13 June 2009. The PRZM model in the FOCUS_PRZM_SW package is PRZM 3.21 beta.
  • 20/Mar/2012:    a document, Generic Guidance for Surface Water Scenarios (version 1.1) has been released : this version 1.1 differs from version 1.0 in that corrections have been made to a previously inaccurate table that indicates which crops are defined for each scenario. Via a footnote, information on evaluation practice agreed between Member State competent authority experts, that attend EFSA pesticide peer review meetings, on parameterising the foliar wash off coefficient (pertinent for step 3 and step 4 simulations) has been added.
  • 11/Apr/2011:    Assessing Potential for Movement of Active Substances and their Metabolites to Ground Water in the EU. The Final Report of the Ground Water Work Group of FOCUS, Sanco/13144/2010 version 1, 13 June 2009' is released. Along with the main report, the version control document 'Generic Guidance for Tier 1 FOCUS Ground Water Assessments version 2.0 January 2011' and the ground water download packages: FOCUSPEARL 4.4.4, FOCUSPELMO 4.4.3 and FOCUSPRZM GW 3.5.2 are also made available for use. For further details on this development and it's regulatory context please read the information on the **Notice Board** page of the FOCUS website
  • 22/Mar/2011:    FOCUS_SURFACE WATER_2.1 released. This release overcomes error messages and installation problems on 64 bit VISTA and Windows7 operating systems, that were experienced with version 1.1.
  • 26/Jan/2011:    a document, Generic Guidance for Surface Water Scenarios (version 1.0) has been released : this version 1.0 differs from the full Report of the FOCUS Working Group on Surface Water Scenarios in that: wording on selecting pesticide property input parameters and advice on parameterising models have been updated to be consistent with the recommendations of other FOCUS guidance (the kinetics, landscape and mitigation and air work groups), EFSA Plant Protection product and their Residues (PPR) panel opinions (regarding not sprayed products and the Q10) and to provide clarifications that have been provided to users that contacted the FOCUS helpdesk. Where pertinent changes have been made to maintain the appropriate legislative context. Via certain footnotes, information on evaluation practice agreed between Member State competent authority experts, that attend EFSA PRAPeR meetings have been added.
  • 18/Jan/2010:    A document, 'Frequently Asked Questions when using the FOCUS Surface Water package' has been added to the 'documentation in FOCUS Surface Water' page.
  • 24/Nov/2009:    FOCUS_TOXSWA_3.3.1 and FOCUS_SWASH_3.1 released.
  • 04/Jul/2005:    Note on harmonisation of crop interception values of FOCUS Ground Water and FOCUS Surface Water Scenarios
  • 07/Aug/2003 : FOCUS_PEARL_2.2.2 released.
  • 11/Jun/2003 : FOCUS SW scenario software (SWASH, PRZM-SW, MACRO (SW), TOXSWA, STEP_ONE_TWO) all available.
  • 19/Dec/2002 : FOCUS_TOXSWA_2.2.1 released.
  • 25/Jul/2002 : FOCUS_PELMO_3.3.2 released.
  • 29/Apr/2002 : a new version of the Generic Guidance for FOCUS Groundwater Scenarios (version 1.1) has been released : the latest version 1.1 differs from the previous version 1.0 in that several values in the crop interception table (Table 1.6) have been changed and some footnotes to this table have been added. As a result, the page numbering in the report and Table of Contents was changed.
  • 22/Apr/2002 : FOCUS_PRZM_2.4.1 released.
  • 19/Dec/2001 : FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 re-released
  • 08/Oct/2001 : FOCUS_MACRO_3.3.1 released
  • 1/Oct/2001 : FOCUS_PELMO_2.2.2 released.
  • 14/Sept/2001 : FOCUS_PRZM_2.3.1 released.
  • 2/Apr/2001 : FOCUS_PRZM_2.2.1 released.
  • 28/Mar/2001 : FOCUS_MACRO_2.2.1 released.
  • 09/Mar/2001 : FOCUS_MACRO_1.2.1 released.
  • 8/Jan/2001 : FOCUS_PEARL_1.1.1 released.
  • 15/Dec/2000 : FOCUS website goes public ! Includes FOCUS_MACRO_1.1.1, FOCUS_PELMO_1.1.1 and FOCUS_PRZM_1.1.1 software.
 Users in FOCUS

In the interests of improving the transparency of the approval process, this website is open to all. This means that anyone can obtain the current version of the FOCUS scenarios and associated simulation models and input files. Anyone can also report bugs, access the documentation etc.

HelpDesk:

For questions/problems about the scenarios, the models and their use, you can contact the FOCUS Helpdesk (marc.van-liedekerke@jrc.ec.europa.eu); your request will then be dispatched.

If you want to be informed about FOCUS, let us know and we will put you on the FOCUS users mailing list.