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Solid-phase microextraction/gas-chromatographic/mass spectrometric analysis of p-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene in honey

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Protection of honeycombs from the Wax moth, Galleria mellonella, involves the use of physical, biological or chemical control methods. As chemical control may result in residues in the extracted honey, the presence of p-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene residues was investigated by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to gas-chromatographic/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The method was linear between 5 and 200 µg kg-1 honey for p-dichlorobenzene and 1 and 200 µg kg-1 for naphthalene. Limits of detection were 1 and 0.1 µg kg-1, respectively, for p-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene, while relative standard deviations were 2.6 and 7.9%, respectively. Application of the method to 90 unifloral Greek honeys revealed that, in 25.6% of the samples, the concentration of either one of the pesticides exceeded the maximum residue level (MRL). Maximum concentrations were 163.03 µg kg-1 honey for p-dichlorobenzene and 193.74 µg kg-1 honey for naphthalene. Naphthalene was found in traceable amounts in 78.9% of the samples, but only 5.6% of them contained concentrations above the MRL, which indicates the use of pre-contaminated honeycomb foundations or built combs. Nevertheless, because naphthalene is naturally present in some plant species growing in Greece, the contribution of nectar from such a floral source should not be overlooked.
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Keywords: gas chromatography/mass spectrometry; honey; naphthalene; p-dichlorobenzene; solid-phase microextraction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Sericulture and Apiculture, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece 2: Laboratory of Chemistry, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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