Fruit based drinks contaminated with pesticides

December 16th, 2008 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 16 (IANS) Fruit based soft drinks outside the US are highly contaminated with pesticides, especially in countries like Britain and Spain, says a new study. Researchers in Spain like Antonio Molina-Díaz, Amadeo Fernández-Alba and colleagues note that strict regulations limit pesticide levels in fresh fruits, vegetables and drinking water. However, regulators have paid less attention to the presence of pesticides in soft drinks made from fruits.

Scientists are increasingly concerned about the possible impact of fruit juices containing pesticides on the health of children, who tend to consume large amounts of such soft drinks.

The scientists used a sophisticated lab test to measure levels of a wide range of common pesticides in over 100 fruit-based soft drink samples from 15 different countries.

They tested for pesticides such as carbendazim, thiabendazole, imazalil and malathion, which are applied to crops after harvest and can remain on fruits and vegetables during processing, according to a release of the American Chemical Society.

They found relatively large concentrations of pesticides, in the micrograms per litre range, in most of the samples analysed. Samples from Spain and Britain had the highest levels of pesticides, while samples from the US and Russia were among the lowest.

“Steps should be taken towards the removal of pesticides in these beverages by changing the way they are manufactured,” the researchers said in the release.

Their study was published in the Dec 15 issue of Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal.

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