Potential risks of dietary exposure to chlorpyrifos and cypermethrin from their use in fruit/vegetable crops and beef cattle productions

The active ingredients (a.i.) used as pesticides vary across regions. Diet represents the main source of chronic exposure to these chemicals. The aim of this study was to look at the pesticides applied in fruit, vegetable, and beef cattle productions in Mendoza (Argentina), to identify those that were simultaneously used by the three production systems. Local individuals (n = 160), involved in these productions, were interviewed. Glyphosate was the a.i. most often used by fruit-vegetable producers, and ivermectin by beef cattle producers. Chlorpyrifos (CPF) and cypermethrin (CYP) were the only a.i. used by the three production systems. The survey revealed that CPF, CYP, alpha CYP, and CPF+CYP were used by 22, 16, 4, and 20% of the fruit and vegetable producers, respectively. Regarding beef cattle, CYP was used by 90% of producers, CYP + CPF formulation by 8%, and alpha CYP by 2%. The second approach of this study was to search the occurrence of CYP and CPF residues in food commodities analyzed under the National Plan for Residue Control (2012–2015). CYP residues found above the LOD were reported in 4.0% and CPF in 13.4% of the vegetable samples tested, as well as in 1.2 and 28.8%, respectively, of the fruit samples tested. Regarding beef cattle, CYP residues were reported in 2.3% and organophosphates (as a general pesticide class) in 13.5% of samples tested. In conclusion, consumers may be exposed simultaneously to CPF and CYP, from fruits, vegetables, and beef intake. Accordingly, the policy for pesticide residues in food and human risk assessment should account for the combined exposure to CPF and CYP. Moreover, appropriate toxicological studies of this mixture (including genotoxicity) are warranted

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