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J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Sep 26;66(38):10097-10105. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b02982. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

Characterization of Daily Dietary Intake and the Health Risk of Neonicotinoid Insecticides for the U.S. Population.

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Department of Environmental Health , Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health , Boston , Massachusetts 02115 , United States.
College of Environment , Zhejiang University of Technology , Hangzhou , Zhejiang 310032 , People's Republic of China.
College of Resources and Environment , Southwest University , Chongqing 400715 , People's Republic of China.


Although neonicotinoids have been the most commonly used insecticides globally, very limited data related to their dietary intake and health risks are available. In this study, we used the relative potency factor approach to aggregate individual neonicotinoids into a single metric (IMIRPF) representing the intakes of total neonicotinoids in relation to imidacloprid for each food item. We then estimated the average daily intake (ADI) of neonicotinoids using residue data collected from U.S. Congressional Cafeteria study (USCC) and USDA/PDP and food consumption data from NHANES 2011-2012. Among the USCC and USDA/PDP samples, squash (427.2 ng/g) and spinach (569.2 ng/g), had the highest average IMIRPF, respectively. The estimated ADIs were below the current chronic reference dose (cRfD) for imidacloprid. However, due to their wide use, it is logical to expect the ubiquity of neonicotinoids in foods. Therefore, the importance of conducting routine dietary intake assessment for neonicotinoids should not be ignored.


average daily intake; daily dietary intake; dietary risk assessment; imidacloprid; neonicotinoids; reference dose; relative potency factor

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