Chronic dietary risk for pesticide residues in food in Brazil: an update

E D Caldas, L C K R Souza
Food Additives and Contaminants 2004, 21 (11): 1057-64
The objective was to conduct a dietary risk assessment of pesticides registered in Brazil up to 14 January 2004. The theoretical maximum daily intake (TMDI) was calculated for 275 compounds using the Brazilian maximum residue limits (MRL) and food consumption. The chronic dietary risk assessment was conducted by comparing the TMDI with the Brazilian acceptable daily intake (ADI) or, when not available, with the ADI from other sources. The TMDI was higher than the ADI (%ADI>100) in at least one Brazilian region for eight pesticides, including five organophosphorus insecticides. For these compounds, the higher TMDI (expressed as %ADI) ranged from 140 (metam sodium) to 14,000 (methyl bromide). Rice, beans, citrus and tomato were the commodities that contributed most to ingestion. Change in pesticide use patterns and the establishment of ADIs by the Brazilian government have reduced the number of compounds for which the TMDI exceeded the ADI in the last 4 years. Risk assessment methodology based on TMDI calculation, however, is conservative as it assumes that the food supply is always treated with all the registered pesticides for that crop and that one always consumes food containing residues at the tolerance level. Furthermore, for six compounds with TMDI exceeding the ADI, a more realistic estimation of the pesticide daily intake was conducted using monitoring residue data from the Brazilian National Pesticide Residue Program. For these compounds, the higher refined intakes ranged from 2% (dimethoate) to 180% (fenitrothion) of the ADIs. The implementation of a national pesticide residue monitoring programme by the government was important to allow the refinement of the risk assessment. However, adequate daily food consumption data are still needed to assess better the public health risk to Brazilian consumers from food produced from crops treated with pesticides.

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