Organochlorine pesticide residues in milk from mothers living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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A total of 137 human milk samples were collected from mothers living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from three health stat ions. The samples were analyzed for the presence of organochlorine pesticides by use of gas liquid chromatography equipped with electron capture detector. Twelve organochlorine pesticides were detected in the following order of frequency p ,p ' -DDE (100%), p ,p ' -DDT (100%), p ,p ' -DDD(100%), 0, p' -DDT (99.3%), dieldrin (46.7%), j~-HCH (40.1%), o,p'-DDD (35.~%). ~HCH (31.3%), Lindane (27.0%), Heptachlor epox ide (16.~%), aldrin (1.5%) and heptachlor (0.7%). The mean level (mg/kg milk fat) of Sum-DDTin all the human milk samples analyzed was 7.75 and ranged from 1.22 to 176.06. The mean levels (mg/kg milk fat) of the DDTcompounds were :- p,p'-DDE (5.02), p,p'-DDT (1.911 and the ratio of p,p'-DDT to p.p'-DDE was 0.4~. The mean levels (mg/kg milk fat) of other residues were as f o l Iows . dieldrin (0.02), lindane (0.01), J~-HCH(O.l~), 6-HCH (0.01) and heptachlor epoxide (0.041. There was no statistical significant difference (p>0.05) in the levels of Sum-DDTand p,p'-DDE in mothers having one or two children. However, p .p '> DDEmean value of 5.20 (mg/kg milk fat) in primipara was greater than mean value of 4.63 in secundipara. The ratio of p,p'-DDT to p,p'-DDE was 0.50 in primipara and 0.45 in secundipara and there was no statistical significant difference. (p>0.05). There were also no s izni f icant differences between the mothers' age groups on the variables of Sum-DDT, p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT and the ratio of p,p'- DDTto p,p'-DDE (p>0.05) at a significant level of ~O.05, after logarithmic transformation was made. The mean levels of the DDT group was extremely higher than those reported in India, Kenya and other countries where similar studies have been done. The higher levels of DDT residues found in the study are associated with the wide spread use of DDT by the Ministry of Health in order to control malaria and other vector borne diseases in Ethiopia.