We evaluated fresh vegetables for residues of 18 pesticides with different chemical structures, including organochlorine pesticides, organophosphorus pesticides, carbamate pesticides, and pyrethroid pesticides and estimated that the potential health risks for consumers. A total of 313 samples were collected from 12 kinds of vegetables in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province, People's Republic of China. Pesticide residues were analyzed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, and the curves were highly linear at 0.01 to 1.00 μg/mL (R2 ≥ 0.99). The mean recovery rate of the pesticides was 62 to 110% (relative standard deviation of <5%). The limit of detection was 0.0001 to 0.0167 mg/kg, the limit of quantification was 0.0002 to 0.0556 mg/kg, and the overall detection rate was 28.43%. The prevalence of pesticides and of samples above the standard limit were highest in celery, the prevalence of pesticides was lowest in potatoes, and the prevalence of samples above the standard limit was lowest in cucumber. Three of the 18 pesticides were not detected: omethoate, chlorpyrifos, and fenvalerate. Among the 15 pesticides detected, the maximum risk factor of six (carbofuran, omethoate, phorate, dicofol, dimethoate, and dichlorvos) is >1, indicating possible harm to human health. Residues of a single pesticide may not adversely affect a person's health, but multiple pesticide residues could present a health risk.

  • A total of 313 vegetable samples were collected for evaluation of pesticide residues.

  • Samples were tested for 18 pesticides of four types.

  • Organophosphorus pesticides had the highest detection rates.

  • Pesticides prevalence was highest in leafy vegetables.

  • The highest residual pesticide concentrations were found in celery.

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