the first worldwide study of pesticides in fruit-based soft drinks, researchers
in Spain are reporting
relatively high levels of pesticides in drinks in some countries, especially the
United Kingdom and
Spain. Drinks sampled from the
States, however, had relatively low levels, the
researchers note. Their study is scheduled for the December 15 issue of ACS’
Analytical Chemistry, a
In the report, 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
pesticide-containing fruit juices on the health of children, who tend to consume
large amounts of such soft drinks, they add.
The scientists used a
sophisticated lab test to measure levels of a wide range of common pesticides in
more than 100 fruit-based soft drink samples from 15 different countries. They
tested for pesticides such as carbendazim, thiabendazole, and imazalil, and
malathion, which are applied to crops after harvest and can remain on fruits and
vegetables during processing. They found relatively large concentrations of
pesticides, in the micrograms per liter range, in most of the samples analyzed.
Samples from Spain and the U.
K. had the highest levels of pesticides, while samples from the
U. S. and Russia were
among the lowest. “Steps should be taken toward the removal of pesticides in
these beverages by changing the way they are manufactured,” the researchers
-- An American Chemical Society (ACS) News Release on December 10, 2008.