The MCRA model for probabilistic single-compound and cumulative risk assessment of pesticides

H. van der Voet*, W.J. de Boer, J.W. Kruisselbrink, P.W. Goedhart, G.W.A.M. van der Heijden, M.C. Kennedy, P.E. Boon, J.D. van Klaveren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Pesticide risk assessment is hampered by worst-case assumptions leading to overly pessimistic assessments. On the other hand, cumulative health effects of similar pesticides are often not taken into account. This paper describes models and a web-based software system developed in the European research project ACROPOLIS. The models are appropriate for both acute and chronic exposure assessments of single compounds and of multiple compounds in cumulative assessment groups. The software system MCRA (Monte Carlo Risk Assessment) is available for stakeholders in pesticide risk assessment at We describe the MCRA implementation of the methods as advised in the 2012 EFSA Guidance on probabilistic modelling, as well as more refined methods developed in the ACROPOLIS project. The emphasis is on cumulative assessments. Two approaches, sample-based and compound-based, are contrasted. It is shown that additional data on agricultural use of pesticides may give more realistic risk assessments. Examples are given of model and software validation of acute and chronic assessments, using both simulated data and comparisons against the previous release of MCRA and against the standard software DEEM-FCID used by the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA. It is shown that the EFSA Guidance pessimistic model may not always give an appropriate modelling of exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • dietary exposure
  • carbamate insecticides
  • 21st-century roadmap
  • chemicals
  • food
  • organophosphorus
  • framework
  • residues
  • project


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