Probabilistic dietary risk assessment of pesticide residues in foods for the German population based on food monitoring data from 2009 to 2014

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Dietary risks for the German population owing to pesticide residues in foods were assessed based on food monitoring data, consumption surveys for children and adults and compound specific toxicological reference values or general thresholds of toxicological concern. A tiered probabilistic modelling was conducted to screen 700 pesticides for significant long- and short-term dietary exposures. Especially for the short-term dietary exposure, the probabilistic methodology used allows simultaneous consideration of the complete daily consumption, whereas most regulatory bodies still rely on single commodity approaches. After screening, refined exposure assessments were conducted for 19 compounds under consideration of conversion factors for toxicologically relevant metabolites, processing information, experimentally derived variability factors and the edible portion for each food item. In total, for 693 compounds the dietary exposure was unlikely to present a chronic or acute public health concern for the German population. In contrast, the refined assessments indicate that the short-term dietary exposure for chlorpyrifos and the cumulative short-term dietary exposure for dimethoate and omethoate may present a public health concern. For copper, owing to exposure assessment limitations, as well as for dimethylvinphos, halfenprox and tricyclazole, which exceeded the thresholds of toxicological concern, the dietary risk assessment remained inconclusive.

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