Some crucial elements of the uncertainty of the consumption data used for the estimation of pesticide residue exposure

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

 

Authors: Júlia Szenczi-Cseh, Lajos Biró, Györgyi Arató, Árpád Ambrus

 

1. Summary

Before issuing permits to use pesticides, it has to be ensured, that pesticide residues remaining in the treated products are not harmful to the human body and to the environment. The calculated value of consumer pesticide residue exposure is influenced by several uncertainty factors. In our article, the parameters influencing the estimation of the amount of food consumed, the use of the picture book showing food portions, the determination of the composition of the reported foods when assessing food consumption, and issues related to the body weight measurement of the person interviewed are addressed.

The analysis was based on the daily consumer exposure calculated using the standard food portions selected on the basis of the approximation obtained during the interviews, as well as accurately known food ingredients and their quantities, and bifenthrin residues. Results show, that in the hands of experts with the necessary dietary knowledge and experience, exposure data obtained with the help of the NutriComp software and database, used in the dietary survey (EU-MENU) currently under way in Hungary, do not differ significantly from daily exposure values calculated by taking into consideration the known composition and quantities of the foods consumed. Daily deviations are expected to offset each other when calculating average consumption figures. It can therefore be assumed, that the data obtained during the survey provide reliable information for the calculation of the average daily exposure of Hungarian consumers.

 

2. Introduction

It is inevitable to use pesticides in order to produce crops of sufficient quality and quantity to feed the ever increasing population of our planet. By the year 2050, it is estimated that 9.1 billion people will have to be provided for. The majority of pesticides are toxic compounds. To eliminate or minimize their undesirable side effects, their use is limited to specific application conditions, determined by extensive preliminary investigations. An important part of the assessment of experimental results prior to issuing permits is the determination of the chronic and acute consumer pesticide residue exposure, carried out at the international and national levels, with the exception of the USA, using a deterministic method.

 

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