Medicinski pregled 2004 Volume 57, Issue 11-12, Pages: 523-535
doi:10.2298/MPNS0412523K
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Pesticides and the environment

Kristoforović-Ilić Miroslava

In the period 1981-2000, an investigation was conducted on organochlorine insecticide (OCI) residues in the environment and their effects on human health. The analyses encompassed drinking and surface waters, air, foodstuffs, ready-made meals, human serum and human autopsy material. OCI residues were not detected in drinking water originating from great distributive systems in Vojvodina (purified and conditioned water) but in some sub-artesian wells there were HCH and aldrin residues. OCI residues were quantified in surface water of the river Danube which is in the required group, except for HCH in 1990/91, when it was in the III-IV group. Air was analyzed in Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, Kikinda, Beočin and Apatin. OCI residues are regularly tested in Zrenjanin (1996-2000): the most frequently detected are: HCH residues (37.83% samples), lindane (21.72% samples), heptachlor (17.60% samples) and rarely DTD and aldrin; aldrin (in traces), heptachlor and HCH were detected in Novi Sad. Heptachlor, lindane and HCH were also rarely determined in Kikinda. OCI have an affinity for fat tissues and their residues can be found particularly in foodstuffs originating from animals. They are not eliminated by thermal processing and it was established in pre-school institutions, student restaurants and homes for the aging; most frequently detected was p,p’DDE isomer, rarely p,p’DDT as well as HCH and rarely lindane. Although use of OCI is forbidden, due to their long persistence in the environment, they can be found in human tissues, which was proved by human serum analyses. Analyses of human autopsy material indicated presence of DDT metabolite - p,p’DDE as well as lindane in all analyzed samples (brain, liver, fat and tumorous tissues).

Keywords: pesticides + toxicity, insecticides, environment, environmental health, hazardous substances, pesticide residues

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