Estimated Levels of Environmental Contamination and Health Risk Assessment for Herbicides and Insecticides in Surface Water of Ceará, Brazil

  • Anayla S. Sousa
  • Wersângela C. Duaví
  • Rivelino M. Cavalcante
  • Maria Aparecida L. Milhome
  • Ronaldo F. do Nascimento


Methodology using solid phase extraction and high performance liquid chromatography (SPE-C18/HPLC–DAD) was applied to pesticide determinations in ten water reservoirs in the semidarid region of northeastern Brazil. The validated method was suitable for determination of herbicides and insecticide in surface water. The recovery efficiency of atrazine, methyl-parathion and simazine was approximately 70 %. The method also showed good linearity and selectivity with correlation coefficients (R) greater than 0.99. The limits of detection were below the maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by government agencies. Studied reservoirs showed presence of atrazine at mean levels from 7.0 to 15.0 µg/L. Simazine and methyl parathion were not detected during the period. The atrazine levels measured from this semiarid region are of the same magnitude as those found in regions with moderate to high agricultural activity. According to detected atrazine concentrations, the annual health risk to humans was insignificant. However, the control of herbicides is important to maintain the quality of water in the reservoirs of Ceará, Brazil.


Pesticides Contamination Health risk Water resources Solid phase extraction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anayla S. Sousa
    • 1
  • Wersângela C. Duaví
    • 2
  • Rivelino M. Cavalcante
    • 2
  • Maria Aparecida L. Milhome
    • 3
  • Ronaldo F. do Nascimento
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Analytical Chemistry and Physical ChemistryFederal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil
  2. 2.Marine Sciences InstituteFederal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil
  3. 3.Federal Institute of Education Science and Technology of CearáIguatuBrazil

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