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Mass balance approach to assess the impact of cadmium decrease in mineral phosphate fertilizers on health risk: The case-study of French agricultural soils

Abstract : Cadmium is a ubiquitous and highly toxic contaminant that can cause serious adverse effects. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) have shown that the risk related to food contamination by cadmium cannot be ruled out in Europe and France. Fertilizing material is one of the main sources of cadmium contamination in the food chain on which regulators can play to reduce cadmium exposure in the population. The aim of this work was to develop a mass-balance approach integrating the various environmental sources of cadmium to estimate the effects of a decrease in cadmium concentrations in crop fertilizers on dietary exposure and on the health risk. This approach led to a predictive model that can be used as a decision-making tool. Representative and protective fertilization scenarios associated with controlled cadmium levels in mineral phosphate fertilizers were simulated and converted into cadmium fluxes. Cadmium inputs from industrial mineral phosphate fertilizers were then compared with cadmium brought by the application of manure, sewage sludge and farm anaerobic digest, at the levels typical of French agricultural practices. Regardless of the fertilizer and scenario used, a flux lower than 2 g Cd.ha-1.year-1 reduces both the accumulation in soils and the transfer of cadmium in the food chain. It corresponds to a cadmium content of 20 mg.kg P2O5-1 or less in mineral phosphate fertilizers. Modelling the transfer of cadmium from the soil to consumed food made it possible to propose cadmium limits in fertilizers applied in France. In a global context of ecological transition to promote human health, this research will help risk managers and public authorities in the regulatory decision-making process for the reduction of environmental cadmium contamination and human exposure.
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https://hal-anses.archives-ouvertes.fr/anses-03048640
Contributor : Sophie Guitton <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 2:39:20 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 2, 2021 - 3:36:05 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 7:18:15 PM

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Géraldine Carne, Stéphane Leconte, Véronique Sirot, Nicolas Breysse, Pierre-Marie Badot, et al.. Mass balance approach to assess the impact of cadmium decrease in mineral phosphate fertilizers on health risk: The case-study of French agricultural soils. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2020, pp.143374. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143374⟩. ⟨anses-03048640⟩

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