Evidence continues to mount on the many ways in which small doses of pesticides adversely affect health-especially during critical periods of fetal development and childhood.

Because pesticides aren’t listed on labels like trans fat and artificial colors, the best way to avoid these environmental contaminants is to choose organic foods. (Learn about the ways you can protect your kids from pesticide exposure here)

The Dirty Dozen: The 12 Most Contaminated Crops

The Environmental Working Group created The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to educate consumers on the foods most consistently contaminated with pesticides.  The 12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of contaminants include:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes

The best way to avoid harmful exposure to pesticides lurking in the dirty dozen is to always choose organic.

To learn more about the Environmental Working Group, a not-for-profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and protecting the environment, visit http://www.ewg.org.