Determining Pesticide Residues in Honey and their Potential Risk to Consumers
Fawzy Eissa1, Sanaa El-Sawi2, Nour El-Hoda Zidan3
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1Environment and Bio-agriculture Department, Faculty of Agriculture,
Al-Azhar University, 11884, Nasr city, Cairo, Egypt
2Central Laboratory for Analysis of Pesticide Residues and Heavy Metals in Foods,
Agricultural Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt
3Pesticides Chemistry and Toxicology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2014;23(5):1573–1580
Forty-six organochlorine, organophosphorous, pyrethroid, and organonitrogen pesticides were analyzed in honey samples collected from 18 apiaries located in 9 centers in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, Egypt, during 2011 by the QuEChERS method followed by gas chromatography. The recovery results ranged from 84.20 to 120.30%. The method provided limits of detection (LOD) in the range of 0.001-0.168 mg·kg-1. The results indicated that residues of the tested pesticides were detected in 55.6% of the collected samples and most of the detected pesticides belonged to the organochlorine and organophosphorous groups. Concerning the most detected pesticide residues, dicofol was found in 38.9% of the samples analyzed owing to its applications to control Varroa destructor. Other acaricides used by beekeepers against Varroa destructor were also detected (i.e., bromopropylate, tetradifon, malathion), indicating that the chemicals used by apiculturists inside the hives in order to control disease are the main pollutants of the produced honey. 81.8% of the detected pesticides exceeded the European Union maximum residue levels (EU MRLs). Data obtained were then used for estimating the potential health risks associated with exposure to these pesticides. Estimated daily intake (EDI) of the detected pesticides were much lower than acceptable daily intakes (ADIs), which show that honey consumption has a minimal contribution to toxicological risk. Our study suggests the need for regularly monitoring programs for pesticide residues in honey at the national level to protect consumer health.