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Quantitation of Pesticide Residue in Water and Food in Louisiana, USA

DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2016.812089, PP. 1145-1157

Keywords: Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, QuEChERS, Cypermethrin, Atrazine, Pesticide, FDA

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Abstract:

Pesticides can remain in the environment for decades and contaminate surface water that is used for irrigation of produce. This study examined pesticide residues in some surface waters and foods in Louisiana. Samples of 8 foods (tomato, corn, rice, blueberry, cucumber, cabbage, wheat and melon) and 35 surface waters were studied using a QuEChERS extraction method for food samples and liquid-liquid extraction method for the water samples. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyze water and food samples. Nine pesticides were detected in the surface water samples and 5 in the food samples. Pesticides detected in foods were below FDA tolerance limit but 0.18 ppm cypermethrin found in tomato was within 90% of the FDA limit (0.2 ppm). Four water samples had atrazine levels that were above the FDA limit for potable water. This study suggests the need to intermittently monitor pesticide contamination in our food and water.

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