Risk assessment for mammals is currently based on external exposure measurements, but effects of toxicants are better correlated with the systemically available dose than with the external administered dose. So for risk assessment of pesticides, toxicokinetics should be interpreted in the context of potential exposure in the field taking account of the timescale of exposure and individual patterns of feeding. Internal concentration is the net result of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME). We present a case study for thiamethoxam to show how data from ADME study on rats can be used to parameterize a body burden model which predicts body residue levels after exposures to LD50 dose either as a bolus or eaten at different feeding rates. Kinetic parameters were determined in male and female rats after an intravenous and oral administration of (14)C labelled by fitting one-compartment models to measured pesticide concentrations in blood for each individual separately. The concentration of thiamethoxam in blood over time correlated closely with concentrations in other tissues and so was considered representative of pesticide concentration in the whole body. Body burden model simulations showed that maximum body weight-normalized doses of thiamethoxam were lower if the same external dose was ingested normally than if it was force fed in a single bolus dose. This indicates lower risk to rats through dietary exposure than would be estimated from the bolus LD50. The importance of key questions that should be answered before using the body burden approach in risk assessment, data requirements and assumptions made in this study are discussed in detail.
The article is published online in the journal Ecotoxicology and is free to access.