HONOLULU (KHON2) — Each year, the Environmental Working Group comes out with a list of fruits and vegetables that have the highest traces of pesticides after being tested. This year, two new items were added.

Download the free KHON2 app for iOS or Android to stay informed on the latest news

According to the EWG, pesticides are known to cause many health problems; and in a study conducted, the non-profit cooperation found the EPA has failed to protect children from pesticides.

The EWG also referenced studies by Harvard that found people who ate a greater number of crops with a high quantity of pesticides had higher levels of urinary pesticides and lower fertility.

Studies show consumption of organically produced foods reduces pesticide exposure almost immediately because the standards for organic fruits and vegetables ban the use of synthetic pesticides.

How does EWG test?

Data is collected from the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration’s latest tests of fruits and vegetables. This year’s data includes 46,569 samples of 46 fruits and vegetables.

The USDA scrubs and washes the produce samples; and the FDA removes dirt before testing, according to EWG.

EWG measures of pesticide contamination:

  • Percent of samples tested with detectable pesticides.
  • Percent of samples with two or more detectable pesticides.
  • Average number of pesticides found on a single sample.
  • Average amount of pesticides found, measured in parts per million.
  • Maximum number of pesticides found on a single sample.
  • Total number of pesticides found on the crop.

Produce on the Dirty Dozen list this year:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard and mustard greens
  4. Peaches
  5. Pears
  6. Nectarines
  7. Apples
  8. Grapes
  9. Bell and hot peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Green beans

A total of 210 pesticides were found on the Dirty Dozen produce items tested. and blueberries and green beans were added to the list this year.

Kale, collard and mustard greens and bell peppers had the most pesticides detected.

The EWG also comes out with a Clean Fifteen list consisting of the produce with the least number of pesticides detected.

Produce on the Clean Fifteen list this year:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Mangoes
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Watermelon
  15. Carrots

Check out more news from around Hawaii

Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest produce this year, and cantaloupe was removed from the Clean Fifteen while carrots were added.