Pesticide residues on leafy vegetables from Chile

Photo credit: Sue Salisbury Photo credit: Sue Salisbury

A new study published in Food Additives & Contaminants has found that a substantial amount of leafy vegetables grown in North Central Chile shows contamination with pesticides over the maximum allowed residue limits. Between 2014 and 2015, researchers collected 118 leafy vegetables from farms and tested them for pesticide residues using gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. Researchers found that almost 30 percent of the sampled vegetables tested positive for pesticides at levels above the allowable limits. Pesticides commonly exceeding the residue limits (in order of prevalence) included methamidophos, azoxystrobin and cypermethrin. Study authors noted that the high levels of methamidophos detected in leafy vegetables could pose a potential chronic health risk.