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Awareness of pesticide residues in locally available food and condiments among food sellers: a case study of Osun state, Nigeria

Author(s): Samson Ayo Deji

Journal: Journal of Public Health in Africa
ISSN 2038-9922

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: e26;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: pesticide residue | food | medicine | public health | Africa | sampling method.

The specific objectives are: i) to determine the level of awareness of pesticide residue in locally available food among food sellers in Ile Ife area of Osun state, Nigeria; ii) to identify the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of food sellers who use pesticides, natural means in preserving their foodstuff from getting spoilt; iii) to determine the level of understanding of food sellers who use pesticides about the likely health implications that could result. The design of the study is cross sectional. Structured open-ended questionnaires were administered to 98 randomly selected food sellers in Ile Ife area Osun state, Nigeria. This includes males and female. The inference from the study shows that majority of the food sellers were between ages 21 and 30 years, suggesting that more of the young people are involved in the selling of foodstuff in the area of study. Most of the food sellers used phostozin, an organophosphate compound as preservatives for cereals. The majority of those that were aware of the health hazards associated with the usage of pesticides as preservative were literate school leavers. Among respondents to the questionnaire, it was expected that many of those food sellers likely to demonstrate caution in the usage of pesticide would be the literate school leavers. This is because they are more aware of the possible associated health hazards than their fellow food sellers who are not literate. The level of awareness of health implications associated with use of pesticides on consumable food items is higher among school certificate holders who are food sellers. Phostozin, an organophosphate, is a common preservative pesticide used on cereals foodstuff (e.g., bean, rice, maize) in the area of study, especially among the age group between 21 and 30 years.
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