In Malaysia, rivers are the main source of public water supplies. This study was conducted from 2002 to 2003 to determine the levels of selected organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides in the Selangor River in Malaysia. Surface water samples have been collected seasonally from nine sites along the river. A liquid-liquid extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technique was used to determine the trace levels of these pesticide residues. The organochlorine pesticides detected were lindane, heptachlor, endosulfan, dieldrin, endosulfan sulfate, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDE whereas for organophosphate pesticides, they were chlorpyrifos and diazinon. At the river upstream where a dam is located for public water supply, incidents of pesticide levels exceeding the European Economic Community Directive of water quality standards have occurred. Furthermore, the wetland ecosystems located at the downstream of the river which houses the fireflies community is being threatened by occasional pesticide levels above EPA limits for freshwater aquatic organisms. The occurrence of these residual pesticides in the Selangor River can be attributed to the intense agriculture and urban activity.
Chlorinated compounds such as sphingolipid-based organochlorine compounds are precursors for the formation of 3-monochlororopanediol (3-MCPD) esters in palm oil. This study evaluates the effects of several factors within the palm oil supply chain on the levels of sphingolipid-based organochlorine, which in turn may influence the formation of 3-MCPD esters during refining. These factors include application of inorganic chlorinated fertiliser in the oil palm plantation, bruising and degradation of oil palm fruits after harvest, recycling of steriliser condensate as water for dilution of crude oil during oil palm milling, water washing of palm oil and different refining conditions. It was observed that bruised and degraded oil palm fruits showed higher content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine than control. In addition, recycling steriliser condensate during milling resulted in elevated content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine in palm oil. However, the content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine compounds was reduced by neutralisation, degumming and bleaching steps during refining. Although water washing of crude palm oils (CPO) prior to refining did not reduce the content of sphingolipid-based organochlorine, it did reduce the formation of 3-MCPD esters through the removal of water-soluble chlorinated compounds. It was found that the use of inorganic chlorinated fertiliser in plantations did not increase the content of chlorinated compounds in oil palm fruits and extracted oil, and hence chlorinated fertiliser does not seem to play a role in the formation of 3-MCPD esters in palm oil. Overall, this study concluded that lack of freshness and damage to the fruits during transport to mills, combined with water and oil recycling in mills are the major contributors of chlorinated precursor for 3-MCPD esters formation in palm oil.
Nineteen pairs of gaseous and surface seawater samples were collected along the cruise from Malaysia to the south of Bay of Bengal passing by Sri Lanka between April 12 and May 4, 2011 on the Chinese research vessel Shiyan I to investigate the latest OCP pollution status over the equatorial Indian Ocean. Significant decrease of α-HCH and γ-HCH was found in the air and dissolved water phase owing to global restriction for decades. Substantially high levels of p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, trans-chlordane (TC), and cis-chlordane (CC) were observed in the water samples collected near Sri Lanka, indicating fresh continental riverine input of these compounds. Fugacity fractions suggest equilibrium of α-HCH at most sampling sites, while net volatilization for DDT isomers, TC and CC in most cases. Enantiomer fractions (EFs) of α-HCH and o,p'-DDT in the air and water samples were determined to trace the source of these compounds in the air. Racemic or close to racemic composition was found for atmospheric α-HCH and o,p'-DDT, while significant depletion of (+) enantiomer was found in the water phase, especially for o,p'-DDT (EFs = 0.310 ± 0.178). 24% of α-HCH in the lower air over the open sea of the equatorial Indian Ocean is estimated to be volatilized from local seawater, indicating that long-range transport is the main source.
A headspace single-drop microextraction (HS-SDME) procedure is optimized for the analysis of organochlorine and organophosphorous pesticide residues in food matrices, namely cucumbers and strawberries by gas chromatography with an electron capture detector. The parameters affecting the HS-SDME performance, such as selection of the extraction solvent, solvent drop volume, extraction time, temperature, stirring rate, and ionic strength, were studied and optimized. Extraction was achieved by exposing 1.5 microL toluene drop to the headspace of a 5 mL aqueous solution in a 15-mL vial and stirred at 800 rpm. The analytical parameters, such as linearity, correlation coefficients, precision, limits of detection (LOD), limits of quantification (LOQ), and recovery, were compared with those obtained from headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and solid-phase extraction. The mean recoveries for all three methods were all above 70% and below 104%. HS-SPME was the best method with the lowest LOD and LOQ values. Overall, the proposed HS-SDME method is acceptable in the analysis of pesticide residues in food matrices.
Mussel samples were used in this study to measure the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorines (OCs) in the coastal waters of Asian countries like Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. PBDEs were detected in all the samples analyzed, and the concentrations ranged from 0.66 to 440 ng/g lipid wt. Apparently higher concentrations of PBDEs were found in mussels from the coastal waters of Korea, Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines, which suggests that significant sources of these chemicals exist in and around this region. With regard to the composition of PBDE congeners, BDE-47, BDE-99, and BDE-100 were the dominant congeners in most of the samples. Among the OCs analyzed, concentrations of DDTs were the highest followed by PCBs > CHLs > HCHs > HCB. Total concentrations of DDTs, PCBs, CHLs, and HCHs in mussel samples ranged from 21 to 58 000, 3.8 to 2000, 0.93 to 900, and 0.90 to 230 ng/g lipid wt., respectively. High levels of DDTs were found in mussels from Hong Kong, Vietnam, and China; PCBs were found in Japan, Hong Kong, and industrialized/urbanized locations in Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India; CHLs were found in Japan and Hong Kong; HCHs were found in India and China. These countries seem to play a role as probable emission sources of corresponding contaminants in Asia and, in turn, may influence their global distribution.
A method to determine six organochlorine and three pyrethroid pesticides in grape, orange, tomato, carrot and green mustard based on solvent extraction followed by solid phase extraction (SPE) clean-up is described. The pesticides were spiked into the sample prior to analysis, extracted with ethyl acetate, evaporated and reconstituted with a solvent mixture of acetone:n-hexane (3:7). Three different sorbents (Strong Anion Exchanger/Primary Secondary Amine (SAX/PSA), Florisil and C18) were used for the clean-up step. Pesticides were eluted with 5mL of acetone:n-hexane (3:7, v/v) and determined by gas chromatography and electron-capture detection (GC-ECD). SAX/PSA was the sorbent, which provided chromatograms with less interference and the mean recoveries obtained were within 70-120% except for captafol. The captafol recoveries for grape were within acceptable range with C18 clean-up column.
Land application of sludge as fertilizers is a way of disposal and recycling of sludge. However, public concern has arisen due to the fact that organic contaminants in sludge may ultimately enter the food chain. Hence the need arises to analyse the organic contaminants such as PAHs and OCPs in sludge. In this study, Soxhlet was utilised as the extraction method and the extracts subjected to extensive cleanup via either silica columns or solid phase extraction cartridges prior to analysis using gas chromatography or high performance liquid chromatography. Sludge samples were collected from the drying beds of oxidation ponds in three locations in South Johore. OCPs such as heptachlor, dieldrin and pp-DDT were detected in low amounts (52-159 mg/kg) whereas PAHs such as naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene and benzo(a)pyrene were detected in the range of 0.2-5.5 mg/kg dry mass. Subcritical water extraction (SWE) recovery studies of PAHs were also performed from spiked sludge samples. Although a recovery range of 41-68% was obtained using the SWE method, the results indicated the usefulness of the technique as an alternative to Soxhlet extraction for the analysis of PAHs in sludge samples.
This study investigates the presence and distribution of organochlorine pesticides in streams and the lake in the Sembrong Lake Basin in Malaysia. The catchment of Sembrong Lake has been converted to agricultural areas over the past 30 years, with oil palm plantations and modern agricultural farming being the main land use. Surface water samples were collected from eight sites comprising the stream and lake and analysed for 19 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). In situ measurement of temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and conductivity were also undertaken at each site. Aldrin, endrin, δ-BHC, 4,4-DDT, methoxychlor and endosulfan were the main OCPs detected in the lake basin. The total OCP concentration ranged between 5.42 and 349.2 ng/L. The most frequently detected OCPs were δ-BHC, heptachlor and aldrin. The maximum values detected were 23.0, 43.2 and 50.4 ng/L respectively. The highest concentration of OCPs was attributed to 4,4-DDT, but such high residue was rare and only detected once. Other OCP residues were low. Significant differences in the mean values were observed between lake and stream for dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and α-endosulfan concentration (p
Magnetic solid phase extraction (MSPE) employing oil-palm fiber activated carbon (OPAC) modified with magnetite (Fe3O4) and polypyrrole (OPAC-Fe3O4-PPy) was successfully used for the determination of two organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), namely endosulfan and dieldrin in environmental water samples. Analysis was performed using gas chromatography with micro-electron capture detection (GC-μECD). The effects of three preparation variables, namely Fe3O4:OPAC ratio, amount of pyrrole monomer, and amount of FeCl3 oxidant were optimized using Box-Behnken design (BBD) (R2 < 0.99, p-value < 0.001%). The optimum conditions were as follows: Fe3O4:OPAC ratio of 2:1 w/w, 1 g of FeCl3 and 100 μL of pyrrole monomer. The experimental results obtained agreed satisfactorily with the model prediction (> 90% agreement). Optimized OPAC-Fe3O4-PPy composite was characterized using field emission scanning electron microscope, vibrating sample magnetometer and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Four numerical parameters of MSPE procedure was optimized using BBD. The significance of the MSPE parameters were salt addition > sample solution pH > extraction time and desorption time. Under the optimized conditions (extraction time: 90 s, desorption time: 10 min, salt: 0%, and pH: 5.8), the method demonstrated good linearity (25-1000 ng L-1) with coefficients of determination, R2 > 0.991, and low detection limits for both endosulfan (7.3 ng L-1) and dieldrin (8.6 ng L-1). The method showed high analyte recoveries in the range of 98.6-103.5% for environmental water samples. The proposed OPAC-Fe3O4-PPy MSPE method offered good features such as sustainability, simplicity, and rapid extraction.
A study on the quality of water abstracted for potable use was conducted in the Selangor River basin from November 2008 to July 2009. Seven sampling sites representing the intake points of water treatment plants in the basin were selected to determine the occurrence and level of 15 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), six phthalate esters (PAEs) and bisphenol A (BPA). Results indicated OCPs were still detected regularly in 66.1 % of the samples with the Σ(15)OCPs ranging from 0.6-25.2 ng/L. The first data on PAEs contamination in the basin revealed Σ(6)PAEs concentrations were between 39.0 and 1,096.6 ng/L with a median concentration of 186.0 ng/L while BPA concentration ranged from <1.2 to 120.0 ng/L. Although di-n-butyl phthalate was detected in all the samples, concentrations of di-ethyl(hexyl)phthalate were higher. Sampling sites located downstream recorded the highest concentrations, together with samples collected during the dry season. Comparison of the detected contaminants with the Department of Environment Water Quality Index (DOE-WQI) showed some agreement between the concentration and the current classification of stream water. While the results suggest that the sites were only slightly polluted and suitable to be used as drinking water source, its presence is cause for concern especially to the fragile firefly "Pteroptyx tener" ecosystem located further downstream.
This study determined the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine (OC) pesticides, and tris(4-chlorophenyl) methane (TCPMe) in human breast milk samples collected in 2003 from primipara mothers living in Penang, Malaysia. OCs were detected in all the samples analyzed with DDTs, hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), and PCBs as the major contaminants followed by chlordane compounds (CHLs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and TCPMe. The residue levels of DDTs, HCHs, and CHLs were comparable to or higher than those in general populations of other countries, whereas PCBs and HCB were relatively low. In addition, dioxins and related compounds were also detected with a range of dioxin equivalent concentrations from 3.4 to 24 pg-TEQs/g lipid wt. Levels of toxic equivalents (TEQs) were slightly higher than those in other developing countries but still much lower than those of industrialized nations. One donor mother contained a high TEQs level, equal to the mean value in human breast milk from Japan, implying that some of the residents in Malaysia may be exposed to specific pollution sources of dioxins and related compounds. No association was observed between OCs concentrations and maternal characteristics, which might be related to a limited number of samples, narrow range of age of the donor mothers, and/or other external factors. The recently identified endocrine disrupter, TCPMe, was also detected in all human breast milk samples of this study. A significant positive correlation was observed between TCPMe and DDTs, suggesting that technical DDT might be a source of TCPMe in Malaysia. The present study provides a useful baseline for future studies on the accumulations of OCs in the general population of Malaysia.
A study to assess the level of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and bisphenol A (BPA) in edible marine biota collected from coastal waters of Malaysia was conducted using GC-MS and SPE extraction. An analytical method was developed and validated to measure the level of 15 OCPs and BPA simultaneously from five selected marine species. It was observed that some samples had low levels of p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDT and p,p'- DDD ranging from 0.50 ng g(-1) to 22.49 ng g(-1) dry weight (d.w) but significantly elevated level of endosulfan I was detected in a stingray sample at 2880 ng g(-1) d.w. BPA was detected in 31 out of 57 samples with concentration ranging from below quantification level (LOQ: 3 ng g(-1)) to 729 ng g(-1) d.w. The presence of OCPs is most likely from past use although there is also indication of illegal use in recent times. The study also reveals that BPA is more widely distributed in coastal species caught off the coast of the most developed state. The potential health risk from dietary intakes of OCPs and BPA from the analysed fish species was negligible.