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Vegetables and fruits containing harmful chemicals

Vegetables and fruits containing harmful chemicals Vegetables and fruits containing harmful chemicals (

Several popular fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, bell peppers, and green beans, contain traces of harmful pesticides that can affect human health, according to a study by Consumer Reports.

About the study

A nonprofit organization Consumer Reports studied seven years of pesticide residue testing results for 59 types of products conducted by the US Department of Agriculture and concluded that pesticides pose a "significant risk" in 20% of the food products it tested. These risks exist for certain groups, such as children and pregnant women, even if only half or one serving is consumed.

But everyone should limit their consumption of these fruits and vegetables, Consumer Reports advises.

Are pesticides in food harmful?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 800 pesticides are used in the United States, namely chemicals to kill insects or control fungi, some of which may pose health risks.

Studies have linked pesticides to the risk of Parkinson's disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and shingles, the agency notes. Children are especially sensitive to the negative effects.

But people usually consume very small amounts of pesticides - "too small to pose a risk".

However, long-term exposure to even small amounts of pesticides can be particularly harmful for people with chronic health problems, those who live in areas with many other toxins, and people who face other social or economic stressors.

Consumer Reports is pushing for the EPA to ban the use of organophosphates or urea - two classes of chemicals on food crops that affect the nervous system and which the organization says pose the greatest health risks.

EPA website reports that children's exposure to carbamates decreased by 70% from 1995 to 2013, as the agency eliminated or restricted many carbamates during that time.

What fruits may contain pesticides


About 20% of the conventionally grown samples contained residues of phosmet, a pesticide that the EPA considers a particular risk to children, according to Consumer Reports. It belongs to the class of organophosphate chemicals.

Regular frozen blueberries also posed a very high risk, the organization says.


Approximately 3% of conventionally grown samples tested positive for oxamyl, the same chemical found in peppers, at levels that are "much higher" than Consumer Reports considers safe. Experts advise choosing melons instead of watermelons.

Vegetables with dangerous pesticides

Sweet peppers

According to Consumer Reports, almost half of all conventionally grown samples tested positive for oxamyl, a part of the carbamate class of chemicals or its breakdown product, oxamiloxime. The organization warns that oxamyl can be a serious health risk.


Almost all of the domestic conventionally grown samples had residues of chlorpropham, another carbamate pesticide, according to Consumer Reports. Organic potatoes were also contaminated with chemicals.

Chemicals prevent potatoes from sprouting during storage and transportation to the grocery store. Sweet potatoes (yams) do not have these chemicals, so they are the best choice.

Green beans

About 4% of conventionally grown samples contained residues of acephate or one of its breakdown products, metamidophos, even though the EPA banned using acephate on vegetables in 2011, according to Consumer Reports.

Organic green beans and peas are a better choice.

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This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.