It is difficult to assess pollution in remote areas of less-developed regions owing to the limited availability of energy, equipment, technology, trained personnel and other key resources. Passive sampling devices (PSDs) are technologically simple analytical tools that sequester and concentrate bioavailable organic contaminants from the environment. Scientists from Oregon State University and the Centre Régional de Recherches en Ecotoxicologie et de Sécurité Environnementale (CERES) in Senegal developed a partnership to build capacity at CERES and to develop a pesticide-monitoring project using PSDs. This engagement resulted in the development of a dynamic training process applicable to capacity-building programmes. The project culminated in a field and laboratory study where paired PSD samples were simultaneously analysed in African and US laboratories with quality control evaluation and traceability. The joint study included sampling from 63 sites across six western African countries, generating a 9000 data point pesticide database with virtual access to all study participants.
Keywords: contaminant screening; food security; mixtures; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; polyethylene samplers; sub-Saharan Africa.