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Occurrences of Organochlorine Pesticides along the Course of the Buffalo River in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and Its Health Implications

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      Most organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) which are increasingly used in agriculture and industry are not biodegradable and thereby persist in the environment for a very long period of time. They are capable of negatively impacting the health of humans and biota when present in a higher concentration than recommended. This study evaluated the concentrations of 17 OCPs in surface water samples collected from six sampling sites along the course of the Buffalo River in Eastern Cape, South Africa, between December 2015 and May 2016. The samples were subjected to solvent extraction, followed by florisil clean up, and analyzed using gas chromatography coupled with an electron capture detector. The individual concentrations of OCPs detected ranged from <LOD to 4403 ng/L in summer and <LOD to 313 ng/L in autumn. The levels of OCPs in the study area were generally above the United State Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) limit of 100 ng/L in all the sampling locations in the two seasons. The cancer risk assessment values were below the permissible limit of the 10−6 level, although the life average daily dose were slightly above the USEPA maximum limits of 10−4. Therefore, there is a need for the adequate regulation of agrochemical storage, use, and disposal in this province and other parts of South Africa.

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      In utero exposure to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and neurodevelopment among young Mexican American children.

      We investigated the relationship between prenatal exposure to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and neurodevelopment of Mexican farm-workers' children in California. Participants from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas study, a birth cohort study, included 360 singletons with maternal serum measures of p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, and p,p'-DDE. Psychomotor development and mental development were assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 6, 12, and 24 months. We found a approximately 2-point decrease in Psychomotor Developmental Index scores with each 10-fold increase in p,p'-DDT levels at 6 and 12 months (but not 24 months) and p,p'-DDE levels at 6 months only. We found no association with mental development at 6 months but a 2- to 3-point decrease in Mental Developmental Index scores for p,p'-DDT and o,p'-DDT at 12 and 24 months, corresponding to 7- to 10-point decreases across the exposure range. Even when mothers had substantial exposure, breastfeeding was usually associated positively with Bayley scale scores. Prenatal exposure to DDT, and to a lesser extent DDE, was associated with neurodevelopmental delays during early childhood, although breastfeeding was found to be beneficial even among women with high levels of exposure. Countries considering the use of DDT should weigh its benefit in eradicating malaria against the negative associations found in this first report on DDT and human neurodevelopment.
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        Global fate of POPs: current and future research directions.

        For legacy and emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs), surprisingly little is still known in quantitative terms about their global sources and emissions. Atmospheric transport has been identified as the key global dispersal mechanism for most legacy POPs. In contrast, transport by ocean currents may prove to be the main transport route for many polar, emerging POPs. This is linked to the POPs' intrinsic physico-chemical properties, as exemplified by the different fate of hexachlorocyclohexanes in the Arctic. Similarly, our current understanding of POPs' global transport and fate remains sketchy. The importance of organic carbon and global temperature differences have been accepted as key drivers of POPs' global distribution. However, future research will need to understand the various biogeochemical and geophysical cycles under anthropogenic pressures to be able to understand and predict the global fate of POPs accurately.
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           U.S. EPA (2005)

            Author and article information

            [1 ]SAMRC Microbial Water Quality Monitoring Center, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa; ookoh@ (O.O.O.); aokoh@ (A.I.O.); adenijigoke@ (A.O.A.)
            [2 ]Department of Chemistry, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
            [3 ]Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
            Author notes
            Int J Environ Res Public Health
            Int J Environ Res Public Health
            International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
            10 November 2017
            November 2017
            : 14
            : 11
            © 2017 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


            Public health

            half-life, water, pollutants, pesticides, organochlorine


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