The Risk of Dietary Exposure to Pesticide Residues and Its Association with Pesticide Application Practices among Vegetable Farmers in Arusha, Tanzania
- Purificator Kiwango
- Neema Kassim
- Martin Kimanya
This study was conducted to assess dietary exposure to pesticide residues and pesticide application practices leading to the presence of these residues among vegetable farmers in Arusha, Tanzania. Face-to-face interviews using semi-structured questionnaires (including 24-hour recall and food frequency questionnaire techniques) were conducted to collect information on pesticide application practices and vegetable consumption, from 76 farmers. A sample of ready-to-eat vegetables was collected from each farmer's household to determine the level of pesticide residues. Pesticide residues were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy
A deterministic approach was used to assess dietary exposure to pesticide residues. Among the analyzed samples, 31.4% contained detectable levels of organophosphate residues. The detected organophosphates were dimethoate (mean, 8.56 mg kg-1), acephate (mean, 2.9 mg kg-1), profenofos (mean, 8.44 mg kg-1), dichlorvos (mean, 20.8 mg kg-1) and malathion (mean, 5.47 mg kg-1). The mean exposure for dimethoate (0.0021 mg kg-1 body weight (wt) day‑1 was higher than its corresponding acceptable daily intakes of 0.002 mg kg-1bwd‑1 resulting in hazard quotient of 1.044 with a consequent hazard index of 1.19 for organophosphates. Pyrethroid pesticides (permethrin, cypermethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin) were also detected but at a lower frequency (17.1%) and hazard index (0.029). The exposure to pesticide residues was significantly associated with limited access to expert advice on pesticide application (p=0.031, adjusted odds ratio=6.56) and over-dosage (p=0.038, adjusted odds ratio=3.751).The risk may be minimized by increasing access to support by extension service providing guidance on good practices and ensuring application of appropriate doses for pesticides.
- Bella DongEditorial Assistant