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In 2009 the quantity of plant protection products distributed for agricultural use (equal to 147.5 thousand tons) fell by 1.6 percent compared with 2008 (Table 1, in Italian only and Figure 1). The quantity of active ingredients contained in preparations distributed for agricultural use also fell, from 80.7 thousand tons in 2008 to 74.2 in 2009 (-8.0 per cent). At the same time, the concentration of active substances also decreased, from 53.8 to 50.3 percent.
Fungicides accounted for 63.1 percent of the total quantity of active ingredients, while insecticides and acaricides accounted for 10.6 percent, herbicides 10.7 percent, various 15.1 percent and organic products 0.5 percent. With reference to toxicity class, 3.6 percent of phytoiatric substances were very toxic or toxic, 18.7 percent were harmful, while 77.7 percent were defined as unclassifiable. The quantity of toxic and very toxic products distributed decreased by 12.4 percent compared with 2008. There was also a less marked decrease in unclassifiable produce (-1.9 percent), while harmful products recorded a slight increase (+1.8 percent) compared with the previous year.
The quantity of active ingredients allowed in organic farming and contained in plant protection products (56.3 percent of total active substances) fell by less (-6.7 percent) than active ingredients overall (-8.0 percent).