John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Probability distribution of fruit and vegetable consumption in the French population for risk assessment purposes: results from the INCa2 survey Volume 15, issue 3, May-June 2016


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Santé publique France
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  • Key words: fruits and vegetables consumption, soil pollution, probabilistic health risk assessment
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2016.0865
  • Page(s) : 207-18
  • Published in: 2016

The health risk assessment method is often applied to determine the safety of eating produce grown in home gardens with polluted soil. Collection of site-specific consumption data can be costly and time consuming — a problem when timely public health decisions are needed. It is therefore often necessary to rely on human exposure factors for these parameters. In France, available relevant data include the CIBLEX database, containing simple descriptive statistics based on the 1999 INCa1 survey. However, these data are rather old and not suitable for probabilistic risk assessment.

This work, therefore, aims to develop human exposure values, suitable for probabilistic risk assessment, for consumption of three vegetable, fruit, and potato subgroups by French adults and children, based on recent data.

The data used in this work come from the 2006 INCa2 survey. After estimating simple statistics (mean, median, 90th percentile), probability distributions describing the fruit and vegetable consumption were adjusted.

Fruit and vegetable consumption increases with age. Fruit consumption is highest, followed by potatoes, fruit vegetables, leafy vegetables, and root vegetables. Women consume more vegetables and fruit than men except for potatoes.

Since fruit and vegetable consumption distribution is positively skewed, the gamma distribution is the most appropriate for adults and children. These results can be used in the case of contaminated vegetable garden soil, combined with the home-grown consumption percentages available in the literature.