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Toxicology Reports
Volume 8, 2021, Pages 1657-1664

Neonicotinoid residues in commercial Japanese tea leaves produced by organic and conventional farming methods

Collins Nimakoa, Anri Hiraia, Takahiro Ichisea, Osei Akotob, Shouta M.M. Nakayamaa

Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan.


The current study sought to assess the residual levels of neonicotinoid insecticides (NEO) in organic and conventional green tea leaves produced in Japan. A total of 103 tea leaves (thus, 42 organic and 61 conventional), were sampled from grocery stores in Japan. Concentrations of NEOs in the tea leaves were quantified using LC–MS/MS; and the data was used to estimate maximum daily intakes of NEOs within the Japanese population. Seven native NEO compounds and one NEO metabolite were detected in both organic and conventional tea leaves. Detection frequencies (%Dfs) of NEOs in the tea samples (n = 103) were found in the decreasing order; thiacloprid (84.47 %) > dinotefuran (74.76 %) > imidacloprid (69.90 %) ≈ clothianidin (69.90 %) > dm-acetamiprid (63.11 %) > thiamethoxam (58.25 %) > acetamiprid (4.85 %) > nitenpyram (1.94 %). About 94.20 % of the tea leaves contained two or more NEO compounds simultaneously. The %Dfs of NEOs were relatively lower in organic tea leaves, compared to the conventional tea leaves. Various percentile concentrations of NEOs were far lower in organic tea leaves, compared to the conventional tea leaves. The maximum daily intakes of NEOs through consumption of tea (MDIgt) were also lower for organic tea leaves, compared to the conventional tea samples.

Keywords: Neonicotinoid insecticide, Conventional tea leaves, Organic tea leaves.

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