Skip to main content
Log in

Monitoring of pesticide residues levels in fresh vegetable form Heibei Province, North China

  • Published:
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Aims and scope Submit manuscript


In this study, 226 samples of seven types of domestic vegetables collected from several vegetable-growing regions in Hebei Province of China were tested for the presence of 38 different agricultural pesticides using a gas chromatograph equipped with electron capture and nitrogen phosphorus detectors. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of pesticides in main vegetables from Hebei Province. Results showed that, in 65.93 % of the samples, no residues were found, 31.42 % of the samples contained pesticide residues at or below the maximum residue levels (MRLs), and 2.65 % of the samples contained pesticide residues above MRL. The most frequently detected pesticides were acephate (31), followed by cyhalothrin (15), bifenthrin (8), omethoate (6), isazophos (6), dimethoate (5), chlorpyrifos (2), and malathion (1). Some (1.33 %) of the samples contained multiple residues. The results provide useful information on the current contamination status of a key agricultural area in North China, and points to the continuous monitoring and strict regulation of pesticide use on vegetables are necessary.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Bhanti, M., Shukla, G., & Taneja, A. (2004). Contamination levels of organochlorine pesticides and farmers’ knowledge, perception, practices in rural India: a case study. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 73(5), 787–793. doi:10.1007/s00128-004-0496-8.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bhanti, M., & Taneia, A. (2007). Contamination of vegetables of different seasons with organophosphorous pesticides and related health risk assessment in northern India. Chemosphere, 69(1), 63–68. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.04.071.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chen, C., Qian, Y. Z., Chen, Q. O., Tao, C. J., Li, C. Y., & Li, Y. (2011). Evaluation of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables from Xiamen, China. Food Control, 22(7), 1114–1120.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chowdhury, M. A. Z., Fakhruddin, A. N. M., Islam, M. N., Moniruzzaman, M., Gan, S. H., & Alam, M. K. (2013). Detection of the residues of nineteen pesticides in fresh vegetable samples using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Food Control, 34(2), 457–465. doi:10.1016/j.foodcont.2013.05.006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Colume, A., Cardenas, S., Gallego, M., & Valcarcel, M. (2001). Multiresidue screening of pesticides in fruits using an automatic solid-phase extraction system. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 49(3), 1109–1116.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Damalas, C. A. (2009). Understanding benefits and risks of pesticide use. Scientific Research and Essays, 4(10), 945–949.

    Google Scholar 

  • European Commission Regulation No. 396/2005. European Parliament and of the Council of 23 February 2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin and amending Council Directive 91/414/EECText with EEA relevance. Available on LexUriServ/¼CELEX:32005R0396:en:NOT.

  • European Commission SANCO/2009/10684. (2009). Method validation and quality control procedures for pesticide residues analyses in food and feed. Available from: <> Feb. 2010.

  • Guan, H. X., Brewer, W. E., Garris, S. T., & Morgan, S. L. (2010). Disposable pipette extraction for the analysis of pesticides in fruit and vegetables using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A, 1217(12), 1867–1874. doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2010.01.047.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Huang, S. W., Jin, J. Y., Yang, L. P., & Bai, Y. L. (2006). Spatial variability of soil nutrients and influencing factors in a vegetable production area of Hebei Province in China. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 75(1-3), 201–212. doi:10.1007/s10705-006-9027-9.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Knezevic, Z., & Serdar, M. (2009). Screening of fresh fruit and vegetables for pesticide residues on Croatian market. Food Control, 20(4), 419–422.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Martins, J., Esteves, C., Simoes, T., Correia, M., & Delerue-Matos, C. (2011). Determination of 24 pesticide residues in fortified wines by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59(13), 6847–6855. doi:10.1021/Jf104801c.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mortimer, R. D., Black, D. B., & Dawson, B. A. (1994). Pesticide-residue analysis in foods by NMR .3. Comparison of F-19 NMR and GC-ECD for analyzing trifluralin residues in field-grown carrots. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 42(8), 1713–10.1021/Jf00044a025.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Niell, S., Pareja, L., Gonzalez, G., Gonzalez, J., Vryzas, Z., Cesio, M. V., et al. (2011). Simple determination of 40 organophosphate pesticides in raw wool using microwave-assisted extraction and GC-FPD Analysis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 59(14), 7601–7608. doi:10.1021/Jf103983m.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Oerke, E. C., & Dehne, H. W. (2004). Safeguarding production—losses in major crops and the role of crop protection. Crop Protection, 23(4), 275–285. doi:10.1016/j.cropro.2003.10.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • SAC. (2008). Fresh fruits and vegetables—sampling. GB/T 8855-2008. Beijing (China): The Standardization Administration of China.

  • Swarnam, T. P., & Velmurugan, A. (2013). Pesticide residues in vegetable samples from the Andaman Islands, India. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(7), 6119–6127. doi:10.1007/s10661-012-3012-3.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Waichman, A. V., Eve, E., & Nina, N. C. D. (2007). Do farmers understand the information displayed on pesticide product labels? A key question to reduce pesticides exposure and risk of poisoning in the Brazilian Amazon. Crop Protection, 26(4), 576–583. doi:10.1016/j.cropro.2006.05.011.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, L. G., Jiang, X., Mao, Y. M., Zhao, Z. H., & Bian, Y. R. (2005). Organophosphorus pesticide extraction and cleanup from soils and measurement using GC-NPD. Pedosphere, 15(3), 386–394.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, X. L., Qiao, X. G., Ma, Y., Zhao, T., & Xu, Z. X. (2013a). Simultaneous determination of nine trace organophosphorous pesticide residues in fruit samples using molecularly imprinted matrix solid-phase dispersion followed by gas chromatography. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61(16), 3821–3827. doi:10.1021/Jf400269q.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, F. Z., & Sun, W. S. (2011). The study of quality and safety traceability system of vegetable produce of Hebei Province. Computer and Computing Technologies in Agriculture Iv, Pt 3, 346, 165-172.

  • Wang, S. M., Wang, Z. L., Zhang, Y. B., Wang, J., & Guo, R. (2013b). Pesticide residues in market foods in Shaanxi Province of China in 2010. Food Chemistry, 138(2-3), 2016–2025. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.11.116.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • WHO. (1992). Our Planet, our health. Report of the WHO Commission on Health and Environment. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.

  • Codex Alimentarius Commission. (2011). Procedural manual (20th ed.). Rome: WHO/FAO.

Download references


This survey was supported by the China Ministry of Health. We especially express our thanks to the teamwork of Handan Municipal Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zikuan Gai.

Additional information

Weihao Li and Lingyu Tai contributed to the work equally and should be regarded as co-first authors.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Li, W., Tai, L., Liu, J. et al. Monitoring of pesticide residues levels in fresh vegetable form Heibei Province, North China. Environ Monit Assess 186, 6341–6349 (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: