Risk of DDT residue in maize consumed by infants as complementary diet in southwest Ethiopia

Seblework Mekonen, Carl Lachat, Argaw Ambelu, Walter Steurbaut, Patrick Kolsteren, Liesbeth Jacxsens, Mekitie Wondafrash, Michael Houbraken, Pieter Spanoghe

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    Infants in Ethiopia are consuming food items such as maize as a complementary diet. However, this may expose infants to toxic contaminants like DDT. Maize samples were collected from the households visited during a consumption survey and from markets in Jimma zone, southwestern Ethiopia. The residues of total DDT and its metabolites were analyzed using the Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged and Safe (QuEChERS) method combined with dispersive solid phase extraction cleanup (d-SPE). Deterministic and probabilistic methods of analysis were applied to determine the consumer exposure of infants to total DDT. The results from the exposure assessment were compared with the health based guidance value in this case the provisional tolerable daily intake (PTDI). All maize samples (n=127) were contaminated by DDT, with a mean concentration of 1.770 mg/kg, which was far above the maximum residue limit (MRL). The mean and 97.5 percentile (P 97.5) estimated daily intake of total DDT for consumers were respectively 0.011 and 0.309 mg/kg bw/day for deterministic and 0.011 and 0.083 mg/kg bw/day for probabilistic exposure assessment. For total infant population (consumers and non-consumers), the 97.5 percentile estimated daily intake were 0.265 and 0.032 mg/kg bw/day from the deterministic and probabilistic exposure assessments, respectively. Health risk estimation revealed that, the mean and 97.5 percentile for consumers, and 97.5 percentile estimated daily intake of total DDT for total population were above the PTDI. Therefore, in Ethiopia, the use of maize as complementary food for infants may pose a health risk due to DDT residue.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue numberC
    Pages (from-to)454-460
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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