Document Detail

Food contamination by metals and pesticides in the European Union. Should we worry?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12052638     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The estimation of the risk associated with dietary intakes of heavy metals and pesticide residues by the consumer is a vital and integral part of regulatory processes. The exposure of the consumer is compared directly to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for pesticides and to the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for heavy metals. The exposure is obtained using the basic equation: Exposure (mg/kg b.w./day)=Consumption (mg/kg b.w./day) x Residue (mg/kg). The establishment of the ADI and the TDI is based on the results of toxicological studies that involve the determination of the lowest-no-observed-adverse-effect level/10 (SF1) x10 (SF2), where SF corresponds to 'Safety Factor'. SF1 and SF2 account for interspecies and intraspecies variability, respectively. In order to evaluate the risk for the consumer, that is associated to the presence of heavy metals and pesticides in food, a review of the level of contamination in European countries has been made. The exposure of European consumers to lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury is superior to the TDI. For pesticides, the first step is to compare the detected amount of residues of a specific pesticide to the maximum residue level (MRL) authorized in foodstuffs. If the residue level in food exceeds the MRL, the theoretical maximum daily intakes and the ADI have to be taken into account in order to assess the risk for the consumer.
L Nasreddine; D Parent-Massin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Toxicology letters     Volume:  127     ISSN:  0378-4274     ISO Abbreviation:  Toxicol. Lett.     Publication Date:  2002 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-06-07     Completed Date:  2002-07-11     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7709027     Medline TA:  Toxicol Lett     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  29-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission/CNRS, Beirut, Lebanon, France.
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MeSH Terms
Cadmium / adverse effects,  analysis
European Union
Food Contamination / prevention & control,  statistics & numerical data*
Foodborne Diseases / etiology,  prevention & control
Lead / adverse effects,  analysis
Mercury / adverse effects,  analysis
Metals, Heavy / adverse effects,  analysis*
Pesticide Residues / adverse effects,  analysis*
Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
Risk Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Metals, Heavy; 0/Pesticide Residues; 7439-92-1/Lead; 7439-97-6/Mercury; 7440-43-9/Cadmium

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