News from CRIS: Trace Contaminants & Residues - An Overview

July 14, 2020

What are trace contaminants & residues?

Trace contaminants and residues are incredibly small particles or microorganisms that can make their way into our food system. These particles or microorganisms can include anything from bacteria to pesticides to minerals found in or on consumables like food and water.

Are they harmful?

As with all chemicals (remember everything is a chemical!), the dose makes the poison.

Harmful trace contaminates and resides typically have a toxicological profile meaning they can cause adverse health impacts if consumed in significant quantities. For example, a small amount of pesticide residue may not cause any harm, but a large amount of the pesticide could cause significant adverse health outcomes.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the specific contaminant or residue, the amount consumed, and the duration it’s consumed determines the harm.


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