Are the maximum limits of contaminants present in food significant?
Afssa carries out Quantitative Risk Assessments (QRAs)

Afssa contributes at an early stage toward the scientific verification of maximum limit values in foods. It provides scientific and technical support for national and EU authorities in order to check the maximum doses of contaminants that food may contain without presenting any health risks, including for people who are most at-risk.

The Agency

· Checks that the reference toxicological value is respected:
- it carries out statistical simulations to ensure that, considering the way in which a food is consumed, the contaminant that it contains within the limit set by the authorities will not exceed the reference toxicological value for the population
- its work makes it possible to organise a hierarchy of the foods which require health monitoring

· Carries out QRAs for foods which represent more than 5% of the reference toxicological value via statistical modelling. It examines the levels of risk related to different levels of concentration (by quantifying the probability of the risk of illness increasing or decreasing for different thresholds, for example x more or fewer cases of cancer per 100,000 people exposed).

The QRA allows the authorities to set maximum limits:
· with an optimum safety margin, based on the level of risk they deem acceptable
· to a level which can be controlled under reasonable conditions

QRAs carried out by Afssa for maximum acceptable limits
· Food additives
· Pesticide and mycotoxin residues in seeds and plants
· Chlordecone in food in the French West Indies
· Etc.

Find out more...
Recommended Dietary Allowances (DRAs)
Food surveys
Food hygiene & allergies
Food contaminants Risk assessment
Observatory on Pesticide Residues
French Total Diet Studies (EAT)
Hygiene alimentaire
Nutrition Composition
Physico-chemical risk
Mineral water and drinking water
Studies and surveys on Food
Human food
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Food surveys  Physico-chemical risk  Studies and surveys on food  Nutrition  Food contaminants risk assessment  Food hygiene & allergies  Methylmercure  Food hygiene & biological risks  Consumers area  Water  French total diet studies (eat)   Observatory on pesticide residues  Chlordecone  Recommended dietary allowances (dras)   Homepage