Recognising that the issue of exposures to multiple pesticide residues needs to be addressed, a Panel of the European Food Safety Authority has conducted a detailed evaluation of existing methodologies for assessing the risks of exposure to two or more pesticides in combination, and has put forward proposals for a tiered approach to toxicological evaluation and intake estimation. It suggests that pesticides be grouped on the basis of general criteria (e.g. chemical structure, mechanism of action) or more refined criteria (common toxic effect or, ultimately, toxic mode of action). The most useful methods for “cumulative” (i.e. combined) toxicity assessment (with increasing levels of complexity and refinement) are said to be the hazard index, the reference point index, the relative potency factor method and physiologically-based toxicokinetic modelling. Exposure assessment can similarly be addressed at increasing levels of refinement. The Panel intends to use the proposed tiered approach in its forthcoming opinion on conazoles, and will refine the procedure in the light of the results.

[Scientific Opinion of the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR Panel) on a request from EFSA to evaluate the suitability of existing methodologies and, if appropriate, the identification of new approaches to assess cumulative and synergistic risks from pesticides to human health with a view to set MRLs for those pesticides in the frame of Regulation (EC) 396/2005 (Question No. EFSA-Q-2006-160). Adopted on 15 April 2008. The EFSA Journal 2008, 704, 1. Available at on the internet.] {177108}

The above item is taken from the July 2008 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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