Atrazine level in air particulate matter in the Kumasi Metropolis and its environs

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MAY, 2016
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Atrazine is a widely used pre- and post-emergence herbicide to selectively control weed growth. A total of 40 air particulate samples were collected on filter papers from all the 8 urban and farming communities. A Sibata Low Volume pump (Model LV- 40) air sampler was mounted at a height of 1.5 m during sampling at each of the sites. Air samples were collected by continuously pumping air through a filter paper fixed in the sample inlet of the sampler for 8 hours at a flow rate of 30 L/min and a temperature of 25 oC. A total volume of 14.4 m3 of air was sampled. In all, about 20 mL of acetonitrile was used to extract the air samples through 5-minute ultrasonication. High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (Varian Inc, USA) coupled with a UV detector (HPLC-UV) fitted to autosampler (model 410 Varian, USA) was used to analyse the samples based on modified Multi-Residue Method (MRM, GSA- T 24) by Ghana Standards Authority (GSA). The mobile phase involves acetonitrile/water (80:20 % v/v) for separation at a flow rate of 1.5 mL/min with a detection within 6 mins at a wavelength of 254 nm. The mean concentrations in the urban areas were found to be 0.28 ± 0.55 pg/m3 each for Suame and Gyinyase communities. Buokrom Estate had 0.29 ± 0.55 pg/m3 while 0.53 ± 1.05 and 1.05 ± 2.10 pg/m3 was obtained for Tanoso and Kejetia communities respectively. The mean concentrations for farming communities include: 12.72 ± 7.69, 13.34 ± 10.70 and 16.48 ± 17.17 pg/m3 for Nkawie-Toase, Afari and Mpasatia respectively. All the mean concentrations were found to be less than WHO Threshold Risk Value (TRV) of 5.0 ng/m3. The health risk indices for children in the farming communities were more than one indicating potential atrazine hazards.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Analytical Chemistry.