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Residues of DDT and HCH in wheat samples collected from different states of India and their dietary exposure: A multicentre study

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Under a multicentre study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, 1712 samples of wheat grain/flour were collected from urban and rural areas in 11 states representing different geographical regions of India. These samples were analysed for residues of DDT (2,2- bis ( p -chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloro ethane) and different isomers of HCH (1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachloro cyclohexane, a mixture of isomers) by gas–liquid chromatography. Residues of DDT were detected in 59.4% of 1080 samples of wheat grain and in 78.2% of 632 samples of wheat flour. Different isomers of HCH were present in about 45–80% of the samples of wheat grain/flour. Medians of DDT and total HCH, respectively, for pooled samples of wheat grain were 0.013 and 0.035?mg?kg -1 , while those for wheat flour were 0.01 and 0.02?mg?kg -1 . Estimated daily intakes of DDT and different isomers of HCH through the consumption of wheat contaminated at their median and 90th percentiles constituted a small proportion of their acceptable daily intakes. Amongst the pesticide residues analysed, statutory maximum residue limits have been fixed only for ?-HCH in wheat in India, as 0.1?mg?kg -1 in wheat grain and zero in wheat flour. Residue levels of ?-HCH exceeded these maximum residue limits in five of 1080 samples of wheat grain and in 340 of 632 samples of wheat flour. The failure to meet the requirement of the ?-HCH maximum residue limit in large number of wheat flour samples was attributed to the fixation of practically unachievable zero limit. Comparing the previous studies and the present one, the levels of residues of DDT and HCH in wheat were significantly decreased.
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Keywords: 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachloro cyclohexane (HCH); 2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloro ethane (DDT); contamination; surveillance; wheat

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Central Co-ordinating Unit, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi 2: Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhaina 3: Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow 4: Central Food Laboratory, Pune 5: Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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