start2 – Management Strategies for Hormonally Active Agrochemicals

The team of the start2 project set out to develop systemic action strategies to strengthen risk prevention in the context of water pollution control.

Research approach

Scientists drew up strategies for dealing with endocrine-disrupting chemicals used in agriculture. Three areas were of crucial importance here: the use of active pesticide ingredients, the deployment of agricultural chemicals in farming, and water conservation. In collaboration with representatives from farming, consultancy and administration, the chemical industry, water management, environmental and consumer associations, and the relevant authorities, participatory options for action were identified and evaluated. The project ties in with the predecessor project start.


A minimum deployment of chemicals to protect crops is vital to achieving high agricultural yields. Hence there is not just an economic interest in using them but a social one as well. The other side of the coin, however, is that they pose potential risks to man and the environment. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals in particular, capable of impacting on the endocrine system of living organisms, are the subject of critical discussion. There is frequent debate about which of the 250 active pesticide ingredients currently approved in Germany should be classified as endocrine disruptors.

Project partners

  • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
  • Büro für Agrar- und Regionalentwicklung, Kassel
  • Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Institut für Umweltmedizin und Krankenhaushygiene, Sektion Angewandte Umweltforschung
  • Büro für Agrarsoziologie und Landwirtschaftskultur


Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Funding programme Social-Ecological Research


2008/10 – 2010/03