Pesticide Residues in Vegetables: Practical Interventions to Minimize the Risk of Human Exposure in Tanzania
Kiwango A., P.
Kimanya E., M.
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Malpractices in the use of pesticides in vegetable production have been reported in the horticultural sector in developing countries. This can result in excessive use of pesticides and, subsequently, in unacceptable levels of pesticide residues in foods of horticultural origin. Consumption of vegetables containing unacceptable levels of pesticide residues is of public concern due to its potentially harmful effects on human health. In this work, we reviewed the current status of pesticide application, the occurrence and exposure of pesticide residues in vegetables as well as factors influencing the problem of pesticide exposure in Tanzania. The review has realized that pesticides are rarely applied to vegetables following good agricultural practices. Further, pesticide residues in vegetables are not monitored and exposure studies are limited. Studies on the influence of vegetable processing on pesticide residues at household level have been done at laboratory scale. However, the influence of these processes to the residues at the community level is unknown. The review suggests the need for broader research on the pesticide application practices to establish the important practices that have significant association with the occurrence of pesticide residues in vegetables. Results from this research will allow for the allocation of resources for improvement, monitoring and control of these practices to minimize the risk of unwanted pesticide residues in vegetables. Continuous monitoring of pesticide residues in food, as well as the correlated human dietary exposure, is highly recommended in order to inform policymakers and risk managers of the status of the risk of exposure to pesticide residues.