Pesticide residues in human diet

Pesticides are used to protect crops from harmful organisms such as weeds, funghi and insects and to regulate growth.

Synthetic pesticides are active compounds, which have been selected on the basis of their biological activity.

Consequently synthetic pesticides are potentially associated with adverse effects more often than chemicals in general. Safety issues for the active ingredients have been evaluated one by one in the peer-reviewed risk assessments coordinated by EFSA to which Finland has also been participated as one of the reporteur member states.

In real life consumers are exposed to a mixture of various active substances challenging the one compound at a time risk assessments.

The objective of the present project is to assess cumulatively the chronic and acute risk to the consumer resulting from simultaneous exposure to different pesticide residues, which are present in the diet. The dietary consumption data in the project is derived from Finravinto 2007 studies, which have been conducted by National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL). The population groups include adults and children.

The pesticide residue data have been produced by Customs laboratory and by MetropoliLab. The dietary exposure is estimated employing probabilistic simulation methods.

Principal inverstigator

Juha Laakso, Evira

In cooperation with

Customs Laboratory
National Institute of Health and Welfare THL


2009 - 2010

Financed by