Evaluating organochlorine pesticide residues in the aquatic environment of the Lake Naivasha River basin using passive sampling techniques

Yasser Abbasi (Corresponding Author), C.M. Mannaerts

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Abstract Passive sampling techniques can improve the discovery of low concentrations by continuous collecting the contaminants, which usually go undetected with classic and once-off time-point grab sampling. The aim of this study was to evaluate organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues in the aquatic environment of the Lake Naivasha river basin (Kenya) using passive sampling techniques. Silicone rubber sheet and Speedisk samplers were used to detect residues of αHCH, β-HCH, γ-HCH, δ-HCH, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, pp-DDE, endrin, dieldrin, α-endosulfan, β-endosulfan, pp-DDD, endrin aldehyde, ppDDT, endosulfan sulfate, and methoxychlor in the Malewa River and Lake Naivasha. After solvent extraction from the sampling media, the residues were analyzed using gas chromatography electron capture detection (GC-ECD) for the OCPs and gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GC-MS) for the PCB reference compounds. Measuring the OCP residues using the silicone rubber samplers revealed the highest concentration of residues (∑OCPs of 81 (± 18.9 SD) μg/L) to be at the Lake site, being the ultimate accumulation environment for surficial hydrological, chemical, and sediment transport through the river basin. The total OCP residue sums changed to 71.5 (± 11.3 SD) μg/L for the Middle Malewa and 59 (± 12.5 SD) μg/L for the Upper Malewa River sampling sites. The concentration sums of OCPs detected using the Speedisk samplers at the Upper Malewa, Middle Malewa, and the Lake Naivasha sites were 28.2 (± 4.2 SD), 31.3 (± 1.8 SD), and 34.2 (± 6.4 SD) μg/L, respectively. An evaluation of the different pesticide compound variations identified at the three sites revealed that endosulfan sulfate, α-HCH, methoxychlor, and endrin aldehyde residues were still found at all sampling sites. However, the statistical analysis of one-way ANOVA for testing the differences of ∑OCPs between the sampling sites for both the silicone rubber sheet and Speedisk samplers showed that there was no significant difference from the Upper Malewa to the Lake site (P < 0.05). Finally, the finding of this study indicated that continued monitoring of pesticides residues in the catchment remains highly recommended
Original languageEnglish
Article number349
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental monitoring and assessment
Early online date18 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Pesticide residues
  • Passive sampling
  • Silicone rubber sheet
  • Speedisk
  • Lake Naivasha
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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