Organophosphate Esters in UK Diet; Exposure and Risk Assessment
43 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2022
Food ingestion has been established as an important human exposure route to many environmental contaminants. However, information regarding dietary exposure to organophosphate esters (OPEs) remains limited. This study provides the first comprehensive dataset on OPEs in the UK diet by measuring concentrations of eight OPEs in 393 food samples, divided into 15 food groups, collected from Birmingham, UK. All target OPEs were measured above the limit of quantification in at least one of the food groups analysed. Concentrations were highest (mean ∑ 8 OPEs = 18.4 ng/g wet weight (ww)) in milk and milk products, followed by those in cereal and cereal products (mean ∑ 8 OPEs = 15.9 ng/g ww), with concentrations lowest in chickens’ eggs (mean ∑ 8 OPEs = 1.61 ng/g ww). Interestingly, concentrations in animal-derived foods (mean ∑ 8 OPEs = 44.2 ng/g ww) were statistically indistinguishable (p˃0.05) from those in either plant-derived foods (mean ∑ 8 OPEs = 36.8 ng/g ww) or industrially-processed foods (mean ∑ 8 OPEs = 32.1 ng/g ww). Estimated daily dietary intakes (EDIs) of ∑ 8 OPEs under mean and high-end exposure scenarios for the four age groups considered were: toddlers (420 and 1547) ˃ children (155 and 836) ˃ elderly (74.3 and 377) ˃ adults (62.3 and 278) ng/kg bw/day, respectively. Baby food contributed 39% of ∑ 8 OPEs exposure for toddlers, with non-alcoholic beverages contributing 27% of exposure for children, while cereal and cereal products (25%) and fruits (22%) were the main contributors for adults and the elderly. The concentrations of OPEs in UK foodstuffs were generally of the same order of magnitude as those reported for other countries and our estimates of dietary exposure were well below the corresponding health-based limit values.
Keywords: food, ingestion, organophosphate esters, dietary exposure
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