Published on: 9 February 2021
A retrospective cumulative risk assessment of dietary exposure to pesticide residues was conducted for chronic inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. The pesticides considered in this assessment were identified and characterised in a previous scientific report on the establishment of cumulative assessment groups of pesticides for their effects on the nervous system. The exposure assessments used monitoring data collected by Member States under their official pesticide monitoring programmes in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and individual food consumption data from 10 populations of consumers from different countries and from different age groups. Exposure estimates were obtained by means of a two-dimensional probabilistic model, which was implemented in SAS® software. The characterisation of cumulative risk was supported by an uncertainty analysis based on expert knowledge elicitation. For each of the 10 populations, it is concluded with varying degrees of certainty that cumulative exposure to pesticides contributing to the chronic inhibition of acetylcholinesterase does not exceed the threshold for regulatory consideration established by risk managers.
© European Food Safety Authority, 2015Cumulative dietary risk assessment of chronic acetylcholinesterase inhibition by residues of pesticides
Extracted from the report:
In 2016, 8,351 samples of products of animal origin were analysed, of which 17% contained
residues at or above the LOQ of 49 different pesticides. The most frequently quantified were copper,
DDT, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), thiacloprid, chlordane, HCH-beta, chlorate, benzalkonium chloride
(BAC), didecyldimethylammonium chloride (didecyldimethylammonium chloride), hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH)-alpha and dieldrin.
In 2017, 9,682 samples were analysed, of which 13% contained quantifiable residues of 48 different
pesticides. The most frequently quantified were copper, HCB, DDT, chlordecone, thiacloprid, fipronil
and BAC. In 2018, 11,549 samples were analysed, of which 12% contained quantifiable residues of 48
pesticides. The most frequently quantified were chlordecone, DDT, HCB, copper, thiacloprid, fipronil,
BAC, chlorates, amitraz, DDAC, acetamiprid, chlorpyrifos, dimoxystrobin, mercury and HCH (beta).
Chlorpyrifos was reported mainly in terrestrial invertebrate animals.
Most of the compounds found in animal commodities are banned or no longer used as pesticides in
Europe, but they are still present in the food chain due to their persistence in the environment. The
presence of residues of OPs in animal products is infrequent and residues of NMCs are not found.
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