Assessment of health risks associated with organochlorine pesticides levels in processed fish products from Lake Victoria

Alex Wenaty*, Arvid Fromberg, Faith Mabiki, Bernard E. Chove, Anders Dalsgaard, Robinson H Mdegela

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study assessed the health risks of organochlorine pesticides in fish products from Lake Victoria. Nine organochlorine pesticides (α- Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), β- HCH, γ- HCH (Lindane), Hexachlorobenze (HCB), Dieldrin, p, pꞌ- DDE, α- endosulfan, Oxychlordane and α- chlordane) were identified at variable levels in fish products. Of the nine organochlorine pesticides which were identified, p, pꞌ- DDE (3.73µg/kg) was the highest in deep fried Nile tilapia while the lowest amount was α- HCH (0.14 µg/kg) in smoked Nile tilapia. In the smoked products, several of the organochlorine pesticides were detected at high concentrations. This is attributed to the fact that organochlorine pesticides are fat soluble and therefore found in the lipid phase of the fish during smoking. There were high levels and prevalence of p, pꞌ- DDE, α- endosulfan, HCB, Dieldrin and Lindane in deep fried Nile tilapia compared to other fish products probably due to environmental contamination. However, the levels of organochlorine pesticides in this study are below the maximum residual limits (MRLs) set by FAO/WHO for fish products indicating that the fish products were safe for human consumption and do not present health risks in terms of organochlorine pesticides residues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Journal of Food Science
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)101-110
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Cancer risk
  • Hazard index
  • Kayabo
  • Organochlorine pesticides
  • Trims

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