New regulations are needed to protect people and the environment from toxic pesticide ingredients that are not currently subject to safety assessments. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive review of gaps in risk assessments for “adjuvants” — ingredients added to pesticide formulations to enhance the function or application of the active ingredient. Ignoring the potential dangers of other ingredients in commonly used commercial pesticides leads to inaccuracies in the safety profile of the pesticide solution, as well as confusion in scientific literature on pesticide effects, finds the review published in Frontiers in Public Health.
“Exposure to environmental levels of some of these adjuvant mixtures can affect non-target organisms — and even can cause chronic human disease,” says Dr Robin Mesnage from King’s College London, who co-wrote the review with Dr Michael Antoniou. “Despite this, adjuvants are not currently subject to an acceptable daily intake and are not included in the health risk assessment of dietary exposures to pesticide residues.”