Koomson C. K.
Abstract: This study investigated the current insecticide use patterns of farmers, their activities and practices that lead to occupational exposure and analysis of insecticide residues in cabbage (Brassica olerecea var. Capitata L.), waterbed sediments and human breast milk. Gas chromatography (GC) analysis in the laboratory showed varying levels of HCB, Lindane, P, P’DDE, P, P’-DDD, P, P’-DDT, Chlorpyrifos-ethyl, α –HCH, β –HCH, ɤ-HCH, α –endosulfan, β – endosulfan, ɤ-endosulfan and endosulfan sulfate in waterbed sediments of the Oyansia stream in Accra, cabbage crops collected from the farms, supermarkets and the open market. The levels of residues in samples collected from the supermarkets were higher than those collected from the farms and open market and above the FAO/WHO residue limits. The levels of HCB and P, P’-DDE in breast milk of lactating wives of farmers calculated on whole milk basis were relatively high (1.77µg/kg and 18.21 µg/kg, respectively). As a result of the overuse of insecticides by horticultural growers, a study on the residue levels of insecticides in horticulture crops on the field and on the market and the environment should be conducted systematically to assess the health risks posed by insecticides on humans and the environment.
Keywords: Brassica olerecea var Capitata L, breast milk, residue levels, sediments, supermarkets