Health

The 2019 pesticide 'Dirty Dozen' fruits and vegetables

Published 12:42 AM ET, Wed March 20, 2019
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Strawberries topped the list in 2019 for the fourth year in a row. The most recent report states they are the fresh produce most likely to remain contaminated with pesticide residues, even after being washed. Testing found that the dirtiest one contained 23 separate pesticides residues. SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images
Spinach, in the second spot this year, had relatively high concentrations of a potentially brain-damaging neurotoxic insecticide called permethrin. It was detected on 76% of spinach samples. John Moore/Getty Images
Kale, edging out nectarines for third place this year, most commonly tested positive for Dacthal, which is a potential cancer-causing agent. Greater than 92% of the samples of kale tested positive for two or more pesticide residues. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
More than 90% of nectarines, strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, and kale samples were positive for two or more pesticide residues. Nectarines are fourth on the list this year. Shutterstock
Apples ranked fifth. Samples contained 4.4 pesticide residues on average. Apples topped the annual Dirty Dozen list for five consecutive years, ending its reign in 2015. In 2016, they were displaced by strawberries. Andrew Wong/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Grapes moved down this year from fifth to sixth, according to the report. Since 2004, the Environmental Working Group -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental organization -- annually ranks pesticide contamination in 47 popular fruits and vegetables for its Shopper's Guide. Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Peaches moved down one ranking on the Dirty Dozen list this year after claiming the sixth spot in 2018. The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 are based off more than 40,900 fruit and vegetable samples tested by the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture. Shutterstock
Cherries are eighth on the list this year. Shutterstock
Pears now rank ninth on the list. The recommendations from the Environmental Working Group are to buy and eat organic produce, especially the fruits and vegetables found on the Dirty Dozen list. shutterstoc
Tomatoes moved down one ranking this year after claiming the ninth spot in 2018. Research on the effects of pesticides on organisms is ongoing, and there is not a complete understanding of whether there is a particular amount of pesticides considered to be safe. Joern Pollex/Getty Images/File
Celery fell this year to the 11th spot after being ranked 10th last year. Even with the growing concern for the effects of pesticides, fruits and vegetables are an important part of a daily diet. Shutterstock
Potatoes made the way from 11th to 12th on the list this year. Joe Raedle/Getty Images