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Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzo furans (PCDD/Fs) were measured by a high resolution gas chromatograph-high resolution mass spectrometer (HRGC/HRMS) in selected edible fish from three freshwater bodies, Lake Volta, Lake Bosumtwi and Weija Lake in Ghana. The levels of organochlorine pesticides measured in this study were generally low. The highest concentration of OCPs was measured for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane compounds (DDTs) (p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, o,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD and o,p'-DDD), followed by chlordane compounds (CHLs) (trans-chlordane, cis-chlordane, trans-nonachlor and cis-nonachlor), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH). The relatively high ratio of p,p'-DDT/p,p'-DDE in tilapia and catfish with an extremely high value in catfish purchased from a local market at Madina, a suburb of Accra, however, suggests the fresh contamination of technical DDT in Ghana. Although PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs showed relatively low levels, the concentrations are, however, comparable with recent data of some developed countries. There is a potential health risk from DDTs, PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs for the general population of Ghana because fish is one of their important protein sources. It is therefore necessary to estimate the total intake of DDTs, PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs, and to assess the health risks for the general population of Ghana.
Chemicals Control and Management Centre, Environmental Protection Agency, P.O. Box MB 326, Accra, Ghana; Department of Nuclear and Environmental Protection, Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
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