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Management of health risks related to pesticides and pesticide metabolites in water intended for human consumption

This statement deals with situations where the regulatory limit value in water intended for human consumption is exceeded for a pesticide or a pesticide metabolite, whether relevant or not, for which the maximum health reference value (Vmax) is not available. In order to manage the situation rapidly, while awaiting the calculation of the Vmax by the National Health Safety Agency (ANSES) and the management measures for a return to compliance, the Directorate General for Health (DGS) suggests establishing provisional health values (PHVs) intended to help the Regional Health Agencies in their management decisions.

The DGS asked the HCSP to give its opinion on the choice of a scenario (among 4 different ones) for the selection of these PHVs. These 4 options are:

1. to retain the health values established by the UBA (Umweltbundesamt, German Environmental Agency) when they exist

2. to use a value equal to one fifth of the maximum health reference value (Vmax) of the parent molecule when it exists

3. use a value calculated based on one fifth of the Toxicological Reference Value of the parent molecule where this exists,

4. select the most conservative value from options 1, 2 and 3.

Assisted by interviews of ANSES and UBA, the HCSP recommends not to follow options 2 and 3. The HCSP, considering the long-term needs concerning the management of pesticide metabolites or other molecules, recommends rapidly evaluating the method used by the UBA with a view to possible harmonization and rapidly setting up a national entity with the necessary resources for the development of PHVs. In the meantime, the HCSP agrees to rely on the PHVs defined by the UBA when they exist.

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