Pesticide Residues in Drinking Water, Ethiopia

Mekonen S, Argaw R, Simanesew A, Houbraken M, Senaeve D, Ambelu A, Spanoghe P. Pesticide residues in drinking water and associated risk to consumers in Ethiopia. Chemosphere 2016 Aug 5;162:252-260. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.07.096.

Access to safe and reliable drinking water is vital for a healthy population. However, surface water may be contaminated with pesticides because of the nearby agricultural areas as well as from household application. Water samples were collected from water sources in Jimma zone and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The extraction and clean up of the samples were undertaken using liquid-solid and liquid-liquid methods. Human exposure was assessed by calculating the estimated daily intake (EDI) of pesticides in water and compared with the acceptable daily intake (ADI) and the acute reference dose (ARfD). The mean concentrations of 2,4-D, malathion, diazinon and fenpropimorph were 1.59-13.90 μg/l and 0.11-138 µg/l in Jimma and Addis Ababa water sources, respectively. The residue level of some of the pesticides were above the European drinking water guide line values, which is an indication of an illegal use of pesticides in the study areas. Concerning human health risk estimation, there was no acute risk (EDI < ARfD). However, chronic risks to human health were observed from exposure to diazinon and fenpropimorph (EDI > ADI) for Jimma and Addis Ababa populations, respectively. A comprehensive monitoring is required to reduce the level of pesticide residues in the water and to minimize particularly the long term human health risks.

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