Assessment of Pesticide Residue Level in Fruits and Vegetables from Markets of Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


Fruits and vegetables are main sources of vitamins and minerals, thus, they are an essential element of a hea lthy diet. On the other hand, they may be contaminated with toxic substance such as pesticides res idues from farm area, heavy metals, etc. Regu lat ion of pesticide max imum residue limits in food commodities was esta bli shed in many countries. For Ethiopia, this regulation exists by law but is not fully enforced. Therefore, pesticide residues in frui ts and vegetables have not been well monito red. This study is the fi rst extensive assessment to determine the levels of 2 1 pesticides res idues in lettuce, tomato, strawberry and apple sold in Addi s Ababa markets. Residues of 13 organochlo rine pesticides (heptachl or, aldri n, dield ri n, endri n, y-chlo rdane, a -endosulfane, endosul fane slJirate, methoxychl or, a-BHC, p,p DDT, p,p DOE, p,p DOD and 8-BHC) ,3 organophosphate pesticides (malathion, chl opyri fos and diazinon ) and 5 synthetic pyret hri od pesticides (A-cyhalotrhin, cy fl uthrin cypennethri n, fenvalerate and deltamethri n) were detected using gas chromatography electron capture detector, and confi rmed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. The effect of wash ing with tap water was also investigated. In addition, KAP (Knowledge, attitude and practice) study was conducted on consumers. The samples were prepared using the multi- residue Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe (QuEChERS) method. Of the 21 pesticides, 10 pesticides were detected in 87.5 % of fruit and vegetable samples. The residue concentrations range from 0.92 to 27.09 ~l g/kg, 5.37 to 198.6 ~l g/kg and 6.61 to 96.74 fig/kg for organoch lorine, synthet ic pyrethriod and organophosphate pesticides respectively was observed. Lindane (a-BHC and 8-BHC) and fe nvalerate were the most frequent organochl orine and synthetic pyrethriod pesticides, respecti vely. Lettuce was the most frequent contami nated sample. The concentration levels of organochlorine, synthetic pyrethriod and organophosphate pesticides residues in lettuce, apple and strawberry exceeded the maximum residue limits adopted by Codex and/ or European Union. About 20% of the pesticide res idues were in this category. Washing lettuce and strawberry under funning water significantly reduced (p < 0.05) lindane and endosulfan residues by 32% and 7%, respecti vely. The running water method did not significantly decrease synthetic pyrethri od res idues in all samples. Knowledge, atti tude and practice study show that consumers had a moderate level of Knowledge, attitude and practice towards pesticide residues. This research suggests that routine monitori ng of pesticide residues is necessary to ensure the public health risks associated with eating contaminated fr ui ts and vegetables. Washi ng fruits and vegetables before consumption is adv isable as this helps to reduce at least some of the pesticide residues from entering into our daily intake. Key words: Assessment, Organochlorine pesticides, Organophosphate pest icides, synthetic pyrethri od pesticdes, frui ts and vegetable



Assessment, Organochlorine pesticides, Organophosphate pesticides, synthetic pyrethri od pesticdes, frui ts and vegetable