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Thailand and pesticides….

Food safety in Thailand 1: it is safe to eat watermelon and durian in Thailand.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The wide use of pesticides raises serious concerns regarding food safety and environmental impacts. There is increasing public concern about the potential health risks linked with exposure to pesticides. Regulation of maximum residue limits (MRL) of pesticide residues in food commodities has been established in many developed countries. For developing countries, like Thailand, this regulation often exists in law, but is not completely enforced in practice. Thus, pesticide residue levels in vegetables and fruits have not been thoroughly monitored. The present study aimed to examine potential health risks associated with pesticide exposure by determining the pesticide residues in two commonly consumed fruits, watermelon and durian.

METHODS:

The fruit samples were purchased from markets in central provinces of Thailand and assayed for the content of 28 pesticides. Analysis of pesticides was performed by multiresidue extraction and followed by GC-MS/MS detection.

RESULTS:

Of 28 pesticides investigated, 5 were detected in 90.7% of the watermelon samples (n = 75) and 3 in 90% of durian samples (n = 30). Carbofuran, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, dimethoate and metalaxyl were found in watermelons, whereas dichlorvos, dimethoate and metalaxyl were detected in durians. However, their levels were much lower than the recommended MRL values.

CONCLUSIONS:

These pesticide levels detected in the fruits are unlikely to harm the consumers; therefore it is safe to eat watermelon and durian in Thailand. While our results found negligible risk associated with pesticide exposure from consuming these common tropical fruits, special precautions should be considered to decrease total exposure to these harmful pesticides from various foods.

Epub 2014 Mar 8.

Organophosphorus pesticide residues in vegetables from farms, markets, and a supermarket around Kwan Phayao Lake of Northern Thailand.

Abstract

This study investigated organophosphorus (OP) residues in vegetables from 27 farms, 106 markets, and 1 supermarket around Kwan Phayao Lake, Northern Thailand, between August and September 2013. Types of vegetables sampled were all vegetables cultivated or sold around the study site. The most common OP pesticides detected in farm samples were chlorpyrifos (50 %), malathion (31.8 %), monocrotophos (31.8 %), diazinon (13.6 %), omethoate (13.6 %), and dicrotophos (9.1 %). The most common OP pesticides detected in market samples were chlorpyrifos (33.9 %), diazinon (18.6 %), parathion-methyl (3.4 %), profenofos (3.4 %), primiphos-ethyl (3.4 %), and fenitrothion (1.7 %). The OP pesticides detected in supermarket samples were chlorpyrifos (33.3 %), and diazinon (66.7 %). Among the compounds detected, chlorpyrifos was detected in most of the vegetable samples from all sources. The highest chlorpyrifos level in farm samples were found in lemon balm (2.423 mg/kg) followed by Vietnamese coriander (0.835 mg/kg), and cowpea (0.027 mg/kg). The highest level in markets samples were found in garlic (7.785 mg/kg) followed by Chinese cabbage (2.864 mg/kg) and Vietnamese coriander (1.308 mg/kg). Residues from supermarket samples were found only in parsley (0.027 mg/kg). The findings showed that 16 samples (59.3 %) from farms and 14 samples (13.2 %) from markets contained OP residues at or above the maximum residue limits established by the European Union. It is concluded that awareness, safety education, and strict regulation of pesticide use are necessary.

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There is increasing public concern over human health risks associated with extensive use of pesticides in agriculture. Regulation of pesticide maximum residue limits (MRLs) in food commodities is established in many developed countries. For Thailand, this regulation exists in law but is not fully enforced. Therefore, pesticide residues in vegetables and fruits have not been well monitored.

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