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Dietary risk of neonicotinoid insecticides through fruit and vegetable consumption in school-age children

Zhang, Quan, Lu, Zhengbiao, Chang, Chi-Hsuan, Yu, Chang, Wang, Ximing, Lu, Chensheng
Environment international 2019 v.126 pp. 672-681
acceptable daily intake, apples, average daily intake, cabbage, carrots, cumulative risk, dietary exposure, foods, fruit consumption, fruits, humans, imidacloprid, school children, vegetable consumption, China
Although the systemic property of neonicotinoid (neonics) has become the most widely used insecticide worldwide since late 1990s, the current literature offers limited information about the human dietary intake and the potential risks of neonics. In this study, we aimed to assess the cumulative risk of total neonics intakes through fruit and vegetable consumption in 58 children ages 8–12 participated in the Hangzhou China (HZC) study over 5 consecutive weekends. Individual neonic residues in each food item were aggregated using the relative potency factor approach into a single metric (IMIRPF), representing dietary intakes of imidacloprid-equivalent total neonics. We then estimated the average daily intake (ADI) of total neonics through fruit and vegetable consumption and evaluated the cumulative dietary risk of neonics. All of the 123 samples were detected with at least one neonic. Commonly consumed foods, such as carrots, green vegetables, baby cabbage, and apple were found with more than 6 neonics. The estimated ADIs of total neonics vegetable and fruit consumption using the mean IMIRPF for apples and green vegetables, two most consumed food items, were 237.1*10−6 and 106.8*10−6 mg/kg/day, respectively. Although the estimated ADIs were below the current chronic reference dose (cRfD) of imidacloprid, we have stipulated the possible future downward revision of cRfD. The potential health risk of neonics to children via dietary exposure should raise more public concern considering the increase use of neonics and the ubiquitous presence in fruits and vegetables.