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Deltamethrin in sediment samples of the Okavango Delta, Botswana

PS Daka
VC Obuseng
N Torto
P Huntsman-Mapila


Deltamethrin concentrations were determined in 35 sediment samples collected from three different habitats: channel, lagoon and pool sites from Xakanaxa in the Okavango Delta, NW Botswana. The samples were Soxhlet-extracted in acetone to extract deltamethrin residues and subsequently cleaned-up with silica gel 60. The final determination was carried out with a gas chromatograph equipped with an electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The sample work-up and determination gave deltamethrin recoveries of 54 to 97%, and detection limits of 0.004 mg/kg dw. The concentration of deltamethrin residues in the sediment samples collected from the three sprayed areas in the Okavango delta ranged between 0.013 and 0.291 mg/kg dw, with the highest concentrations observed in samples obtained from the pool sites. Analysis of samples for organic matter content showed percentage total organic carbon (% TOC) ranging between 0.19% and 8.21%, with samples collected from the pool having the highest total organic carbon. The concentrations of deltamethrin residues and the % TOC in sediment samples showed a similar trend with the highest levels recorded in the pool samples. These data confirmed that a simple method based on GC-ECD, after Soxhlet extraction, was robust enough to enable quantification of deltamethrin in the sediments, because comparable results were obtained with a more sophisticated system consisting of a GC coupled to a mass spectrometer with a time of flight (TOF) analyser.

Water SA Vol.32 (4) 2006: pp.483-488

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eISSN: 1816-7950
print ISSN: 0378-4738