Abstract

Safety and sustainable agro-food production is important for food and nutrition security. Agro-foods safety is challenged by various emerging environmental contaminants. Organophosphate esters (OPEs) have been reported to occur in various agro-food items worldwide, which has resulted in increasing concerns for effects on health of humans and wildlife, including through agriculture. However, information on presence, sources and transfer routes of OPEs in agro-foods, and consequent health risks remains scant. This review critically evaluates available information on concentrations of OPEs in various agro-foods, and discusses potential sources of OPEs in agro-foods, which are closely related to the ambient agri-environment, agricultural inputs, and agro-foods processing. Some directions for future research are suggested. First, since food is an important exposure pathway to OPEs, systematic monitoring of concentrations of OPEs in various categories of agro-foods is recommended. Second, surveillance of concentrations and characteristics of OPEs in agro-foods and ambient agri-environments, agricultural inputs or processing in the agro-food chain is needed to obtain a more complete description of exposure and transmission behavior of OPEs in agro-foods. Third, future comprehensive studies of transmission, metabolism and accumulation of OPEs in animals or plants, are required. Finally, measures to control emissions of OPEs as sources to agriculture should be taken.

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