Concentration of Organochlorine Insecticide Residues in Tomato (Lycopersicon Esculentum) Fruit: a case study at Akumadan in the Offinso North District of Ashanti Region

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This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of pesticide use, sources of information on pesticide use, attitudes underlying failure to use protective equipment and levels of pesticide residues in tomatoes at Akumadan, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Liquid-Liquid extraction procedure was employed and extract clean up was done using ethyl acetate, sodium bicarbonate and solid phase extraction. In all 200 tomato samples were collected from 10 farms and analyzed for pesticides residues by gas chromatography equipped with electron capture detector. Fifty farmers were selected to respond to a questionnaire. Seventeen (17) different organochlorine pesticide residues namely p, p-DDT, p, p-DDE, o,p’-DDD, p,p’-DDD alpha – HCH, beta – HCH, Hexachlorobenzene, Aldrin, trans-Nonachlor, Heptachlor, trans – Chlordane and trans – Heptachlor epoxide were detected. The temperature of injector operating in a split less mode was held at 225o C and electron capture detector was set a 300o C. The concentrations of organochlorines pesticide residues in the tomato ranged from 0.0079 to 40.97 ug/kg. With the exception of Aldrin with a mean concentration (0.0079ug/kg) below the WHO maximum residue limit (MRL) of (0.01 μ/kg) the mean concentration for all the other organochlorines detected were above their respective permissible limits. The continuous consumption of such foods with high pesticide levels can accumulate and could result in detrimental chronic effects of the consumer.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science, 2011