Apple Dirtiest and Onion Cleanest at the top of the list of produce most contaminated with pesticides in a report published today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public health advocacy group. There is list of produce contaminated with pesticides
Its seventh annual report analyzed government data on 53 fruits and vegetables, identifying which have the most and least pesticides after washing and peeling. For produce found to be highest in pesticides, the group recommends buying organic.
Apples moved up three spots from last year, replacing celery at the top of the most-contaminated list; 92% of apples contained two or more pesticides. Pesticides might be in small amounts, but we don’t know what the subtle, long-term effects of many of these pesticides are yet.”
By choosing five servings of fruit and vegetables a day from the clean list, most people can lower the volume of pesticides they consume daily by 92%.
The Dirty Dozen
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
12. Kale/collard green
Rankings reflect the amounts of chemicals present on food when it is eaten. Most samples were washed and peeled before testing. Washing with a “produce wash” is unlikely to help remove pesticides because they’re taken up by the entire plant and reside on more than just the skin.
Fewer than 10% of pineapple, mango and avocado samples showed pesticides. For vegetables, asparagus, corn and onions had no detectable residue on 90% or more of samples.
The Clean 15
6. Sweet peas
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
13. Sweet potatoes
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. A pesticide may be a chemical substance, biological agent (such as a virus or bacterium), antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest. Pests include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscs, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, spread disease or are a vector for disease or cause a nuisance. Although there are benefits to the use of pesticides, there are also drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other animals. According to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, 10 of the 12 most dangerous and persistent organic chemicals are pesticides
Pesticides may cause acute and delayed health effects in those who are exposed. Pesticide exposure can cause a variety of adverse health effects. These effects can range from simple irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects such as affecting the nervous system, mimicking hormones causing reproductive problems, and also causing cancer. A 2007 systematic review found that “most studies on non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia showed positive associations with pesticide exposure” and thus concluded that cosmetic use of pesticides should be decreased. Strong evidence also exists for other negative outcomes from pesticide exposure including neurological, birth defects, fetal death, and neurodevelopmental disorder.
The American Medical Association recommends limiting exposure to pesticides and using safer alternatives: “Particular uncertainty exists regarding the long-term effects of low-dose pesticide exposures. Current surveillance systems are inadequate to characterize potential exposure problems related either to pesticide usage or pesticide-related illnesses…Considering these data gaps, it is prudent…to limit pesticide exposures…and to use the least toxic chemical pesticide or non-chemical alternative.”
The World Health Organization and the UN Environment Programme estimate that each year, 3 million workers in agriculture in the developing world experience severe poisoning from pesticides, about 18,000 of whom die. According to one study, as many as 25 million workers in developing countries may suffer mild pesticide poisoning yearly.
One study found pesticide self-poisoning the method of choice in one third of suicides worldwide, and recommended, among other things, more restrictions on the types of pesticides that are most harmful to humans
Pesticides are known to be toxic to the nervous system, cause cancer, disrupt hormones and cause brain damage in children. Pregnant women are advised to avoid foods containing pesticides.
A study by Harvard School of Public Health found children exposed to pesticides had a higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Pesticides were measured in six different ways to calculate overall scores:
- Percentage of samples tested with detectable pesticides.
- Percentage of samples with two or more pesticides.
- Average number of pesticides found on a single sample.
- Average amount (level in parts per million) of all pesticides found.
- Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample.
- Total number of pesticides found on the commodity.
Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables from the “dirty dozen” list would mean you’d get an average of 14 different pesticides. By choosing five from the clean list, you’d consumer fewer than two pesticides.
source : usatoday.com
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