Solid Phase Extraction of Organochlorine Pesticides Residues in Groundwater (Akkar Plain, North Lebanon)

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Université Lille 1, Equipe Chimie Analytique et Marine, UMR CNRS 8217 Geosystèmes 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France

2 Lebanese University, Faculty of Public Health (FSP III), Water &Environment Science Laboratory – Tripoli- Lebanon


Due to the uncensored use of pesticides in the agricultural regions of Lebanon, the contamination
risks of drinking water by organic residues increase periodically in planting seasons. No previous work have
been considered in North Lebanon plain concerning pesticide pollution though it is the second agricultural
zone in Lebanon with an excessive activity. In this context, the aim of this study was to evaluate the
contamination and to map the pollution level of groundwater by organochlorine pesticides in Northern Lebanon.
Solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridge embedded with Hydrophilic-lipophilic-balanced (HLB) copolymer
were used for the isolation and trace enrichment of pesticide from water samples followed by gas chromatography
coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to quantify pesticide concentrations. The levels of organochlorine
pesticide recorded in groundwater of Akkar district exceeded the limits set by the Stockholm Convention on
persistent organic pollutants with total amounts that can reach 14.2 μg/L. Contamination was also found to be
more important inland with the frequent presence of banned pesticide such HCH isomers, 4,4’-DDT, aldrin
and endrin. Appropriate remedial measures and systematic investigation of Organochlorine residues in water
resources of the AKKAR district are necessary to check further aggravation of the situation.