Pollution of Food and Water by Hormonally Active Pesticides and Veterinary Drugs Residues: Focus on Sub Saharan African Countries
In Sub-Saharan African countries, more than 60% of the active population is involved in agriculture. Synthetic pesticides and veterinary drugs are mainly imported from developed economies and are massively used and misused by the population. The level of environmental pollution by residues of these chemicals is considered to be a serious concern all over the continent. Populations and animals are at risk of exposure to highly polluted food and water. This chapter reviews the exposure levels to pesticides and veterinary drugs residues through selected highly consumed foods. Herbicides, insecticides and antibiotics are frequent residues found in foods; most foods items revealed contaminations by multiples chemicals. Levels of contamination are often higher than maximum residues limits set by the Codex Alimentarius or by the European Union. Preliminary estimations of consumers’ dietary exposure and health risk suggest a real public health concern from endocrine disrupting agrochemicals. Very few studies have been carried out so far on this concern and decision makers remain greatly unaware of the rising issue of health risks in Africa associated with exposure to hormonally active pesticides and veterinary drugs.