Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 20, pp 17187–17205 | Cite as

Surveillance of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables from Accra Metropolis markets, Ghana, 2010–2012: a case study in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Paul Osei Fosu
  • Augustine DonkorEmail author
  • Cephas Ziwu
  • Brajesh Dubey
  • Robert Kingsford-Adaboh
  • Isaac Asante
  • Stephen Nyarko
  • Rose Tawiah
  • Noble Nazzah
Research Article


Monitoring of pesticide residues in food commodities of plant origin is part of the regular controls on food to safeguard consumer’s health. This study reports for the first time in Ghana a 3-year (2010–2012) monitoring of pesticide contamination of fruits and vegetables and their health implications. A total of 3483 samples were purchased in notable markets within Accra Metropolis and analysed for pesticide residues, employing the modified quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe analytical procedure. The results indicated that almost all the fruits and vegetables studied had residues above maximum residue limits (MRLs). The commodities with the greatest concentrations exceeding the European Union (EU) MRLs were long green beans (60.6%) and lettuce (57.1%) with watermelon (10%) and green pepper (8.6%) having the least. The relative occurrence of the pesticides was fenvalerate 11.3%, fenitrothion 5.6%, lambda-cyhalothrin 3.6%, dimethoate 3.2%, permethrin 2.7% and deltamethrin 2.2%. These results will serve as a baseline on which annual or other long-term studies could be compared with, thus emphasizing the need for continuous monitoring programmes to regulate trends of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables to safeguard the consumers’ health.


Pesticides Monitoring Pesticide residue Food commodity Ghana 



We are very grateful to our anonymous friends in overseas for the financial support for this study. The authors also thank the Chemistry Department, University of Ghana, and the Pesticide Residues Laboratory, Ghana Standards Authority, Accra, for the technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Osei Fosu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Augustine Donkor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cephas Ziwu
    • 1
  • Brajesh Dubey
    • 3
  • Robert Kingsford-Adaboh
    • 1
  • Isaac Asante
    • 4
  • Stephen Nyarko
    • 1
  • Rose Tawiah
    • 1
  • Noble Nazzah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana
  2. 2.Pesticide Residue LaboratoryGhana Standards AuthorityAccraGhana
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and ManagementIndian Institute TechnologyKharagpurIndia
  4. 4.Department of BotanyUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana

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