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Common Food Pollution Pollutants
Pesticides (e.g., organophosphates, organoarsenicals, and other pesticides) – get into the food due to common agricultural practices of spreading pesticides. While pesticides may prevent destruction of food by parasites, some of the sprayed pesticides will leach into the soil and may be taken up by roots. Thus food pollution by pesticides id a real problem everywhere in the world. Pesticides may cause form gastrointestinal to nervous system problems.
Perchlorate – perchlorate gets into the environment due to a series of human activities (involving military operations, rocket research, firework display, and other activities implying explosive materials, as well as many industries using perchlorate salts) as well as natural formation in arid climates. Chile and California are areas with confirmed natural formation of perchlorate. Thus, food pollution by perchlorate is a serious problem that has yet to be defined in other areas of the world (especially those with arid climate). Perchlorate may cause metabolism disruption by affecting the normal function of thyroid. This is because perchlorate has a similar structure with iodine and may displace iodine binding to the thyroid gland and, by this, despairing its normal function. Perchlorate was reported in a series of foods including lettuce and milk.
Mercury – organo-mercurial compounds (organic compounds of mercury) have a strong tendency to bioaccumulate in living organisms such as fish. The death and poisoning of many people in Japan in the 1970’s (the Minamoto incident) alerted the world of how serious consumption of fish grown in mercury contaminated water can be! Mercury may get into the water from remote areas as it is easily transported by air over long distances (mercury is the only metal that is also found in gaseous form).
Benzene – was reported in a series of soft drinks. Benzene is a proven human carcinogen and is often linked to leukemia. Read more Food Pollution Facts
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl ethers) - along with pesticides have reached even remote arctic areas via air and water – these are persistent organic food pollutants that may bioaccumulate in fat tissues of living organisms such as fish.
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