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Action Levels

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Action level
In the United States, the term action level can refer to levels recommended by EPA for enforcement by Food and Drug Administration and USDA when pesticide residues occur in food or feed commodities for reasons other than the direct application of the pesticide. As opposed to "tolerances" which are established for residues occurring as a direct result of proper usage, action levels are set for inadvertent residues resulting from previous legal use or accidental contamination.

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EPA Terms of Environment Dictionary

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Action Levels
1. Regulatory levels recommended by EPA for enforcement by FDA and USDA when pesticide residues occur in food or feed commodities for reasons other than the direct application of the pesticide. As opposed to "tolerances" which are established for residues occurring as a direct result of proper usage, action levels are set for inadvertent residues resulting from previous legal use or accidental contamination. 2. In the Superfund program, the existence of a contaminant concentration in the environment high enough to warrant action or trigger a response under SARA and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan. The term is also used in other regulatory programs. (See: tolerances.)

Provided as a public service by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Agriculture Glossary

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Action levels
As opposed to tolerances (which are established for pesticide residues occurring as a direct result of proper usage), action levels are set for inadvertent residues resulting from previous legal use or accidental contamination. At the action level set by the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and USDA are required to take enforcement action against the contaminated food or agricultural commodity. The term is also used in other regulatory programs.