Discipline: Science and Mathematics Education
Subcategory: Pollution/Toxic Substances/Waste
Albatul Almushayti - University of the District of Columbia
Co-Author(s): Tolessa Deksissa, University of the District of Columbia
Pesticide use in agriculture has greatly contributed to the increase in agricultural production to meet the increasing needs of global food security. Despite the great benefits provided by pesticides to mankind, the risks to humans, living organisms and ecosystem is one of the most important challenges facing human beings at the present time. The aim of the current study was to identify and quantify pesticide residues in organic and conventional fruits and vegetables obtained from the main supermarket in Washington DC. QuEChERS was applied to detect the level of 14 pesticide residues in 48 organic and non-organic collected samples (apple, strawberry, nectarine, lettuce, potato, and tomato) using gas chromatography with mass spectrophotometry (GC-MS). The results of the present study refer to at least two pesticide residues were detected in all samples. Seven out of 14 tested pesticides were found in most samples. We measured highest level of tetrahydrophthalimide and thiabendazole in both organic and conventional fruits and vegetables followed by chlorpropham, fludioxonil, fenpropathrin, diphenylamine, and myclobutanil. Tetrahydrophthalimide was detected exceeding the EPA tolerance level in both organic and non-organic lettuce, potato, and tomato. This study indicates that there was detectable amount of pesticide residues on all organic and conventional fruits and vegetables. 57% of tested samples were well below the EPA tolerance level while 43% were above the EPA level. Moreover, there was no qualitative and quantitative difference between organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables. Further studies are needed to quantify more pesticide compounds in greater food commodity samples.Not Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NIFA, NSF
Faculty Advisor: Tolessa Deksissa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Sample collection, preparation and analysis.