Pesticide Residue and Health Risk Analysis of Six Commonly Used Herbal Medicinal Products in Kumasi, Ghana

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.06.03.Art018

Authors : Frank Adusei Mensah, Isaac Tabiri Henneh, Martins Ekor


Background: Ghana does not have reliable surveillance programme for ensuring safety of food and herbal products on the market. Data from previous studies have shown the presence of pesticide residues in food products and its associated health risk. In this present study we assessed the residual pesticide content of six most patronized herbal preparations in Kumasi, Ghana and the attendant risk of such contamination to public health.

Methodology: The herbal preparations were cleaned up using Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) method for insecticide analysis. Analysis was carried out on GC-MS using 33 external standards.

Results: The total pesticide content in most of the herbal preparations was below the maximum residue limit (MRL). However, the concentration of pirimiphos-methyl in herbal product ‘E’ (HPE) (0.082 mg/kg) was higher than the MRL (0.05 mg/kg). In addition, the hazard indices’ (HI) for five herbal products were less than ‘1’ and safe for consumption without any possible future health risk. However, the HI for HPE was determined to be greater than ‘1’. Aldrin, dieldrin and chlordane which are banned in Ghana were also identified in 50% of the studied herbal preparations.

Conclusion: Data from this study reveals that HPE is contaminated with pirimiphos-methyl pesticide and unsafe for consumption. Also, the presence of banned pesticides in 50% of the studied herbal preparations calls for concern and urgent intervention by relevant regulatory authorities.

Keywords: Herbal medicinal preparation, hazard index, pesticides, contamination, health risk, safety.


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