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PloS one

Acaricide residues in laying hens naturally infested by red mite Dermanyssus gallinae.


PMID 22363736

Abstract

In the poultry industry, control of the red mite D. gallinae primarily relies worldwide on acaricides registered for use in agriculture or for livestock, and those most widely used are carbamates, followed by amidines, pyrethroids and organophosphates. Due to the repeated use of acaricides--sometimes in high concentrations--to control infestation, red mites may become resistant, and acaricides may accumulate in chicken organs and tissues, and also in eggs. To highlight some situations of misuse/abuse of chemicals and of risk to human health, we investigated laying hens, destined to the slaughterhouse, for the presence of acaricide residues in their organs and tissues. We used 45 hens from which we collected a total of 225 samples from the following tissues and organs: skin, fat, liver, muscle, hearth, and kidney. In these samples we analyzed the residual contents of carbaryl and permethrin by LC-MS/MS.Ninety-one (40.4%) samples were positive to carbaryl and four samples (1.7%) were positive to permethrin. Concentrations of carbaryl exceeding the detection limit (0.005 ppm) were registered in the skin and fat of birds from two farms (p<0.01), although these concentrations remained below the maximum residue limit (MRLs) (0.05 ppm) (p<0.01). All organs/tissues of hens from a third farm were significantly more contaminated, with skin and muscle samples exceeding the MRL (0.05 ppm) (p<0.01) of carbaryl in force before its use was banned. Out of 45 chickens tested, 37 (82.2%) were found to be contaminated by carbaryl, and 4 (8.8%) by permethrin. The present study is the first report on the presence of pesticides banned by the EU (carbaryl) or not licensed for use (permethrin) in the organs and tissues of laying hens, which have been treated against red mites, and then slaughtered for human consumption at the end of their life cycle.

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