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Fruit and Vegetables in Europe Increasingly Tainted by ‘Forever Chemicals’


Residues of toxic “forever chemicals” traceable on fruit and vegetables have tripled in the European Union over the last 10 years, according to a new NGO report.

[Image source: Adobe Stock]


Based on official data, this report was produced by the Pesticide Action Network and highlights significant increases in residues of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on fruits and vegetables sold in the European Union. A large, complex group of synthetic chemicals that have been used in various consumer products since around the 1950s, PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down in the environment. Their uses include keeping food from sticking to packaging or cookware, making clothes and carpets resistant to stains, and creating firefighting foam.

According to the report, the Netherlands and Belgium, followed by Austria, Spain, and Portugal, are responsible for producing products with highest levels of PFAS. Among fruit and vegetables imported to Europe, the most likely to contain the chemicals were those from Costa Rica, India, South Africa, Colombia, and Morocco.

To read how almost half of the tap water drunk in the United States now contains ‘forever chemicals’, see this news story on our website.