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Title: Assessment of Organochlorine Pesticides and Atrazine Residues in Maize Produced in Ghana Using Gc-Ecd/ Gc-Ms
Authors: Adu - Kumi, S
Fianko, J.R
Mensah, E.D
University of Ghana, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications
Issue Date: Jul-2015
Publisher: University of Ghana
Abstract: Maize is consumed by over 95% of the Ghanaian populace and the practice of using atrazine, lindane and other organochlorine pesticides in its production has raised concerns about potential adverse effects on human health and the environment. A field survey was conducted in this study to assess farmers‟ knowledge of safe handling and use of these chemicals as well as toxicity awareness and symptoms among farmers and traders. Residues of the pesticides in maize samples as well as the potential health risk associated with exposure to them were also evaluated. Data obtained from the field survey indicate that a large proportion of farmers are at risk of pesticide poisoning through occupational exposure. Over 80 % of applicators do not apply safety precautions during pesticide mixing and application; resulting in considerable prevalence of pesticide related illnesses in the study area. Residues of lindane and atrazine were below detection limits of 0.005 mg/kg and 0.010 mg/kg respectively of the GC-ECD/MS used for the analysis; except in the Ashanti region where atrazine was 0.05 mg/kg which is within the EU-MRL of 0.1 mg/kg. However, minute concentrations of other organochlorines (endrin- 0.007 mg/kg; heptachlor- 0.023 mg/kg; alpha-endosulfan- 0.013 mg/kg) were found in maize samples from Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Central and Upper west regions. Though endrin and alpha-endosulfan were below the EU-MRL of 0.01 mg/kg and 0.10 mg/kg respectively, heptachlor was slightly above the EU-MRL of 0.01 mg/kg. The estimated doses for all these other organochlorines pesticides do not pose direct hazard to human health because their estimated dose values were lower than toxic thresholds and reference doses. However, due to the unsafe application practices by applicators, there exists a potential risk for systemic and carcinogenic health effects by these chemicals in the study are
Description: Thesis (MPhil) - University of Ghana, 2015
Appears in Collections:Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications

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