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Sci Total Environ. 2015 Sep 15;527-528:262-9. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.081. Epub 2015 May 14.

The influence of tomato processing on residues of organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides and their associated dietary risk.

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Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg, Denmark.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark, Sdr. Boulevard 29, 5000 Odense C, Denmark.
Fundacion Plagbol, Calle Fernando Guachalla 705, Sopocachi, La paz, Bolivia.
Center of Water and Environmental Sanitation, Faculty of Science and Technology, University Major of San Simón, Sucre street in front of Park La Torre, Cochabamba, Bolivia.


Due to the increasing food demand, the use of pesticides in agriculture is increasing. Particularly in low income countries poor training among farmers, combined with the use of obsolete pesticides may result in a high risk for the consumers. In this study six organochlorines and five organophosphates were analyzed in 54 samples of tomatoes from small scale farmers in Bolivia. The analyses were done on unprocessed, stored, washed and peeled tomatoes. The cumulated risk associated with consumption of the tomatoes after different storage times and processing treatments was evaluated using the Hazard Index (HI) for acute risk assessment. All 11 pesticides were detected in the analyses although several of them are obsolete and included in the Stockholm convention ratified by Bolivia. The organochlorines were found in the μg pesticide/kg tomato range and below the HI, while the organophosphates were present in the mg pesticide/kg tomato range and most often above the HI. The low organochlorine concentrations were not significantly affected by time or treatment, but storage significantly decreased the concentrations of organophosphates. Washing decreased the initial concentrations to between 53% (malathion) down to 2% (ethyl parathion), while peeling had a larger effect reducing the initial concentrations to between 33% (malathion) and 0.7% (chlorpyriphos). Both the acute and chronic cumulative risk assessment of organophosphates showed a dietary risk for unprocessed tomatoes three days after harvest. For children, also the consumption of washed tomatoes constituted a dietary risk. To reduce the dietary risk of pesticide residues in Bolivia, there is an urgent need of farmer education and introduction of less hazardous pesticides as well as resources for surveillance and enforcement of legislation in order to ensure public health.


Consumer health; Dietary risk assessment; Hazard index; Organochlorines; Organophosphates; Pesticides

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