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, 59 (8), 426-30

An Evaluation of Residual Organochlorine Pesticides in Popular Indian Herbal Teas


An Evaluation of Residual Organochlorine Pesticides in Popular Indian Herbal Teas

Vijay Naithani et al. Arch Environ Health.


Herbal preparations are gaining popularity worldwide because of their history of use and the belief that they are free of harmful side effects. Among the most popular products are herbal teas, which are marketed extensively with emphasis on their medicinal properties. At the same time, the World Health Organization has been emphasizing the need for quality assurance of herbal products, including testing for inadvertent contamination. The authors conducted a quality-assurance evaluation of residual organochlorine pesticides in some popular brands of Indian herbal teas. Organochlorine pesticide residue build-up from agricultural or storage practices was estimated with gas-liquid chromatography. The results revealed scant presence of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) or its metabolites; endosulfan--a highly toxic pesticide--was absent in all 8 brands of herbal teas studied. Hexachlorocyclohexane isomers were detected in 2 samples, but levels were below the permissible limit for pesticide residue in foods, as promulgated by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The authors believe that all herbal preparations should be checked for toxic chemical residues to allay consumer fears of exposure to known neurotoxicant pesticides and to aid in promoting global acceptance of these products.

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