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      Dynamic multicrop model to characterize impacts of pesticides in food.

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          Abstract

          A new dynamic plant uptake model is presented to characterize health impacts of pesticides applied to food crops, based on a flexible set of interconnected compartments. We assess six crops covering a large fraction of the worldwide consumption. Model estimates correspond well with observed pesticide residues for 12 substance-crop combinations, showing residual errors between a factor 1.5 and 19. Human intake fractions, effect and characterization factors are provided for use in life cycle impact assessment for 726 substance-crop combinations and different application times. Intake fractions typically range from 10⁻² to 10⁻⁸ kg(intake) kg(applied)⁻¹. Human health impacts vary up to 9 orders of magnitude between crops and 10 orders of magnitude between pesticides, stressing the importance of considering interactions between specific crop-environments and pesticides. Time between application and harvest, degradation half-life in plants and residence time in soil are driving the evolution of pesticide masses.We demonstrate that toxicity potentials can be reduced up to 99% by defining adequate pesticide substitutions. Overall, leafy vegetables only contribute to 2% of the vegetal consumption, but due to later application times and higher intake fractions may nevertheless lead to impacts comparable or even higher than via the larger amount of ingested cereals.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Environ. Sci. Technol.
          Environmental science & technology
          American Chemical Society (ACS)
          1520-5851
          0013-936X
          Oct 15 2011
          : 45
          : 20
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany. peter.fantke@ier.uni-stuttgart.de
          Article
          10.1021/es201989d
          21905656

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