Trends in Diet and Exposure to Chemicals in Dutch Children

P.E. Boon, E.D. van Asselt, M.I. Bakker, A.G. Kruizinga, M.C.J.F. Jansen

    Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


    Aim: This report presents an overview of trends in dietary patterns and exposure to selected chemicals in children aged 0.5-12 years living in the Netherlands, with the aim to get insight in possible trends in exposure over the last two decades. The compounds included are acrylamide, dioxins, nitrate, organophosphate insecticides, sulphite, sweeteners and some mycotoxins. Approach: Data from literature and the three Dutch National Food Consumption Surveys (DNFCS-1 (1987/1988), DNFCS-2 (1992) and DNFCS-3 (1997/1998)) were analysed. The reported consumption of very young children (aged 8-18months) was described based on two studies conducted in 2000/2001 and 2002. Due to the relatively short time period between these two latter studies, it was not feasible to report of a time trend for very small children. Results: For most of the chemicals a decrease in (mean/median) exposure levels is predicted relative to the most recent exposure assessments reported in the literature. For sweeteners, an increase is more likely, due to an increasing trend in the consumption of light soda’s. For some compounds, (T2/HT2 and sulphite) no conclusions could be drawn. The results are shortly discussed in relation to differences in food consumption survey methods used over time and developments of methodologies used to assess exposure levels. Also the quality of the residue data used in the exposure assessment is addressed. Conclusion: Trends in themselves provide only information on whether exposure levels are likely to increase or decrease in time. Also actual levels of exposure should be addressed and compared to the relevant toxicological reference levels. The comparison of the highest, most recent estimated exposure reported in the literature with a relevant reference dose per chemical demonstrated that for some compounds (acrylamide, DON and dioxins) the reference value was exceeded and that it remains to be seen whether a decreasing trend will result in acceptable exposure levels in children in time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6-7
    JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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