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To which chemical mixtures is the French population exposed? Mixture identification from the second French Total Diet Study

Traoré, T., Béchaux, C., Sirot, V., Crépet, A.
Food and chemical toxicology 2016 v.98 pp. 179-188
Total Diet Study, adverse effects, algorithms, bisphenol A, detection limit, foods, humans, pesticides, risk, toxicology, trace elements, vegetables, women
Through their diet, humans are exposed to a wide range of substances with possible adverse effects. Total diet studies (TDS) assess exposure and risk for many single substances or mixtures from the same chemical family.This research aims to identify from 440 substances in the second French TDS, the major mixtures to which the French population is exposed and their associated diet. Firstly, substances with a contamination value over the detection limit were selected. Secondly, consumption systems comprising major consumed foods were identified using non-negative matrix factorisation and combined with concentration levels to form the main mixture. Thirdly, individuals were clustered to identify “diet clusters” with similar consumption patterns and co-exposure profiles.Six main consumption systems and their associated mixtures were identified. For example, a mixture of ten pesticides, six trace elements and bisphenol A was identified. Exposure to this mixture is related to fruit and vegetables consumed by a diet cluster comprising 62% of women with a mean age of 51 years. Six other clusters are described with their associated diets and mixtures. Cluster co-exposures were compared to the whole population.This work helps prioritise mixtures for which it is crucial to investigate possible toxicological effects.