Concentrations and human health risk assessment of DDT and its metabolites in free-range and commercial chicken products from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Van Vuren, J.J.
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Organochlorine pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) have been used in agriculture and for disease control purposes over many decades. Reports suggest that DDT exposure may result in a number of adverse effects in humans. In the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa, DDT is sprayed annually in homes (indoor residual spraying) to control the mosquito vector of malaria. In the northern part of the Province, samples of free-range chicken meat (n = 48) and eggs (n = 13), and commercially produced chicken meat (n = 6) and eggs (n = 11), were collected and analysed. Of the free-range chicken meat samples, 94% (45/48) contained DDTs (ΣDDTs median 6.1 ng/g wet weight [ww], maximum 79.1 ng/g ww). Chicken egg contents were also contaminated (ΣDDTs in free-range eggs median 9544 ng/g ww, maximum 96.666 ng/g ww; and in commercial eggs median 1.3 ng/g ww, maximum 4.6 ng/g ww). The predominant DDT congener detected was p,pʹ-DDE in both free-range meat (>63%) and eggs (>66%), followed by p,pʹ-DDT and then p,pʹ-DDD. Based on estimated daily intake values, calculated human risk ratio (carcinogenic) values were >1 for DDTs detected in both free-range chicken products. Consumption of free-range eggs poses a particularly high health risk