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Examining pyrethroids, carbamates and neonicotenoids in fish, water and sediments from the Indus River for potential health risks

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Farhat Jabeen, Dr Abdul ChaudhryORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This 3x3 factorial study assessed pyrethroids, carbamates and neonicotenoids groups of pesticides in replicated samples of three fish species from low (S1, reference), medium (S2) and heavy (S3) polluted sites receiving agricultural run-offs around the Indus River. Water and sediment samples from the same sites were also analysed for these pesticides by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Out of nine investigated pesticides, only three pesticides (deltamethrin, carbofuran and cypermethrin) were detected in fish and sediment samples. Deltamethrin in Cyprinus carpio ranged from 0.490 to 0.839 mu g/g, mostly exceeding 0.5 mu g/g as the maximum residual limit suggested by FAO-WHO, whereas it ranged from 0.214 to 0.318 mu g/g in the sampled sediments. The carbofuran concentrations were 0.0425-0.066 and 0.613-0.946 mu g/g in Labeo rohita and Channa marulius muscles respectively and 0.069-0.081 mu g/g in the corresponding sediment samples. These values were either higher or lower than the maximum limit (0.1 mu g/g) as suggested by FAO-WHO. Conversely, the cypermethrin concentration ranged from 0.141 to 0.174 in Ch. marulius and 0.183-0.197 mu g/g in sediments which were both below the FAO-WHO maximum limit of 2 mu g/g. No pesticide residues were detected in water from these sampling sites. Most selected physicochemical variables were within the acceptable range of World Health Organization for the water quality for aquatic life. The detected pesticide contents were mostly higher in fish muscles from heavily polluted sites. This is worrying because these pesticides may pose health risks for the fish and people of the study area. However, a preliminary risk assessment indicated that the calculated daily intake of detected pesticides by people consuming fish from the Indus River was low and did not present an immediate risk to the fish-consuming people. This study may be used as a benchmark to determine the safety of fish meat in order to develop intervention strategies to maintain the water quality and to protect the health of fish and fish-consuming people.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jabeen F, Chaudhry AS, Manzoor S, Shaheen T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

Year: 2015

Volume: 187

Issue: 2

Print publication date: 01/02/2015

Online publication date: 30/01/2015

Acceptance date: 10/09/2014

Date deposited: 02/02/2016

ISSN (print): 0167-6369

ISSN (electronic): 1573-2959

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10661-015-4273-4


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Funder referenceFunder name
SP-174British Council
SP-174Higher Education Commission of Pakistan