Pesticide residue levels in vegetables and surface waters at the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia

Kumelachew Mulu Loha*, Marja Lamoree, Jacob de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Seven pesticides, profenofos, metalaxyl, λ-cyhalothrin, 4,4′-DDT, 4,4′-DDE, and α- and β-endosulfan, were determined in vegetables (tomato, onion) from 20 locations and surface waters from 12 locations in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia. Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe (QuEChERS) and solid phase extraction (SPE) methods were used for the vegetables and water, respectively. In 2.5% of the tomato samples, profenofos was detected above European maximum residue limits (MRLs), in 12.5% of the samples metalaxyl, and in 2.5% α- and β-endosulfan. In 5% of the onion samples, profenofos was detected above European MRLs, in 7.5% of the onion samples metalaxyl, and in 5% λ-cyhalothrin. In surface water, profenofos was detected at the highest concentration of 2300 μg/L in the Bulbula River, 890 μg/L near the agricultural land north of Lake Ziway (ANLZ-1), 1700 μg/L in the floriculture effluent (FE-1), and 900 μg/L in tap water at the Batu Drinking Water (BDW) supply. These results show that the levels of pesticides are in several cases substantially elevated, and emphasize the need of regular pesticide monitoring programs for surface waters and vegetables in the Ethiopian CRV.
Original languageEnglish
Article number546
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number8
Early online date27 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Central Rift Valley
  • Maximum residue limits (MRLs)
  • Pesticide residue
  • Surface waters
  • Vegetables


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