Authorities close to completing landmark assessments of the risks posed to consumers by multiple pesticides
The pilot assessments looking at the cumulative effects of exposure to pesticides in food on the human nervous and thyroid systems – are expected to be finalised by the end of the year.
They have been made possible by the Monte Carlo Risk Assessment (MCRA) tool, a software program developed by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in close cooperation with Biometris, part of Wageningen University and Research.
The tool has been adapted to perform assessments of cumulative exposure from pesticides as part of an ongoing partnership between EFSA and the RIVM.
The software will now be further refined and complemented with a data model which, when fully developed, will house all the information necessary to perform full regulatory cumulative risk assessments. A proposal for the data model is published today.
Luc Mohimont, from EFSA’s Pesticides Unit, said the collaboration between EFSA and the RIVM continues to make good progress.
"The proposal on the data model is another big step towards our goal of embedding cumulative risk in the regulatory assessment of pesticides.”
“We expect the database to be built and populated within the next three years, and from then on risk assessors at EU and national level will have the means to perform these sophisticated assessments.”
The substances to be considered in the assessments of the thyroid and nervous systems were identified by EFSA’s pesticide experts using a a methodology specially devised for classifying pesticides into “ cumulative assessment groups” (CAGs).