Levels of organochlorine pesticide residues in fruits and soils from the Mampong Municipality

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July, 2015
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Levels of fifteen organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues in watermelon, pineapple and banana fruits from the farms and those sold on the market within the Mampong municipality together with the soil found around the fruit in the farms from which the fruits were taken have been analysed. A total of 120 fruits and 60 soil sampl es were analysed, out of which a total of 100 freshly harvested fruit samples were sampled randomly from farms in Kyerefamso, Woraso, Adidwan, Atonsuagya and Bosomkyekye and 20 from the market. The samples were extracted and analysed for OCP residues using gas chromatography equipped with electron capture detector. The mean residue concentrations ranged from <0.01-3.59±0.14 ng/g and 0.59 ± 0.03-0.98± 0.03 ng/g respectively in pineapple and banana from Adiwan. The mean OCP levels ranged from 0.20 ± 0.01 - 11.53± 0.10 ng/g, <0.01 - 1.23 ± 0.07 ng/g and <0.01 - 0.39 ± 0.10 ng/g for watermelon, pineapple and banana fruits respectively from the farms in Atonsuagya. The mean levels of OCP residues detected in the fruits from Bosomkyekye ranged from 3.38 ± 0.03-2.16.41±0.05 ng/g, <0.01-3.88 ± 0.08 ng/g and <0.01- 1.18 ± 0.01 ng/g for watermelon, pineapple and banana fruits respectively. The mean residue concentrations in the fruits samples from Kyerefamso also ranged from 0.49 ± 0.41- 48.22 ± 0.85 ng/g, <0.01-2.59 ± 0.08 ng/g and 4.23 ± 0.0 - 12.23 ± 0.32 ng/g for watermelon, pineapple and banana respectively. There were no residues detected in fruits from Woraso. There were no significant variations in the levels of pesticides in the three fruit samples from all the sampling areas (p>0.05). Comparison of the results of OCP residues in fruit from the farm and the market showed that higher levels OCPs were recorded in fruits from the farms compared to that from the market. Comparing the residual levels in fruits with that in soil samples taken around the fruit showed that some of the residues detected in the fruit were absent in the soil but, generally, the concentration of the OCP residues in the soils were much higher than that in most of the fruit samples analysed. Highest mean levels of OCPs such as gamma-HCH, aldrin and methoxychlor and beta-HCH and endrin recorded in some watermelon and banana fruits respectively from the farm exceeded the maximum residue limits (MRLs) adopted by the EU but were lower than FAO/MRL. The hazard indices from the health risks assessment showed that all the OCP residues except aldrin did not show any health risk associated. The carcinogenic risk of the OCP in fruits in general were of less concern, since all the OCP except p,p' -DDT, carcinogenic rates in the fruits were below the acceptable risk level.
This thesis is submitted to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of an MPhil Environmental Chemistry degree