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Symposia on the Environment and Food

Contributions of Chemistry to Sustainable Food Production

Freie Universitat Berlin, August 1999
Thursday August 12, 9:00 - 13:00
Inorganic Chemistry Lecture Hall

Progress in Codex with the Acute Dietary Intake Assessment of Pesticide Residues
Denis Hamilton, Animal & Plant Health Service, Department of Primary Industries, 80 Ann St, Brisbane, Queensland 4000 AUSTRALIA, Email: [email protected]

The Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) will, for the first time in 1999, systematically estimate the acute intake of pesticide residues in food.

JMPR has already established acute reference doses (RfDs) for 15 pesticides and decided that acute RfDs were unnecessary for 6 others. The acute RfD is an estimate of the amount of a substance in food or drinking-water, expressed on a body-weight basis, that can be ingested over a short period of time, usually during one meal or one day, without appreciable health risk to the consumer. The acute RfD provides the reference point in the acute risk assessment.

Residue levels in food and food consumption data are needed to assess residue intake. Regional diets, based on information supplied by national governments to WHO (World Health Organization), describe typical commodity unit weights and large portion size for each food (97.5th percentile for eaters on a single day, i.e mean + 2 � SD). The calculation of intake relies on the large portion size for a food and also on the commodity unit weight for those foods eaten as single units of a fruit or vegetable.

Maximum residue levels likely to occur in the edible portions of food commodities are obtained from supervised residue trials and food processing studies. JMPR will use all available data to make the best possible estimate.

A variability factor is applied for those foods typically consumed as single units, e.g. apples, carrots, because a single unit may have a residue level of up to 3-10 times that of the lot or composite sample. In the absence of specific data, a default variability factor of 10 is chosen for moderately sized units and 5 for large fruits such as melons.

Calculated intake = {(max residue � unit weight � variab factor) + STMR � (portion size - unit weight)} � bodyweight

STMR: supervised trials median residue representing the typical residue in the edible portion of composite sample resulting from the maximum registered use.

The calculated intake is acceptable if it does not exceed the acute RfD.

The calculation is strongly driven by the first term - (max residue � unit weight � variab factor).

JMPR will include the results of its acute risk assessments in the 1999 report, which will be sent to national governments for comment and then for formal consideration at the 2001 meeting of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR).

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