, Volume 1, Issue 3-4, pp 145-158

Pesticide Impact Assessment via Using Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) Technique in the Lower Rio Grande River Basin, Texas

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Abstract

This paper presents a field survey using health impact assessment approach trying to: (1) demonstrate a basic soil and groundwater survey/sampling, (2) investigate any possible long-term pesticide contamination in connection with citrus orchard pesticide application, and (3) conduct an assessment review of possible pesticide impacts on public health in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), Texas. A sampling plan was prepared to collect samples that include soil from a citrus orchard of Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Weslaco, located in the Hidalgo county and groundwater from domestic and public wells located in the neighboring LRGV region. Field investigation of the contamination was performed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique and the analytical results indicated that there is no considerable concentration of simazine pesticide in soil and groundwater. All of the measurements are below the maximum contamination limit (MCL) value provided by US EPA. A statistical assessment was also performed on the cancer mortality rates in the LRGV region to identify any significant health concerns in this region. After reviewing several relevant reports, it is inferred that there are no apparent health issues in the LRGV region in relation to such pesticide impact and the mortality rates in the valley are lower than the average mortality rates in Texas during the period 1992–2002. T-test confirmed the absence of any significant difference between the three counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Webb, Cameron and Hidalgo) in terms of the cancer mortality rates.