Kale haters, unite!
A recent study of kale samples gathered from various American supermarkets discovered that seven out of eight samples contained concerning quantities of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
Ironically, kale was selected as an experimental specimen because researchers desired to examine a vegetable that possesses a notoriety for its well-being.
It seems even more ironic that kale with a “USDA organic” label had elevated amounts of PFAS in comparison to regular kale.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are frequently known as “forever chemicals” due to their resistance to decomposition and widespread presence in the environment, encompassing soil, water, and air on a global scale.
PFAS are a cluster of man-made substances extensively employed in wrapping, garments, rugs, firefighting froth, and even bathroom tissue since the 1950s.
Studies have established a connection between the substances and cancer as well as other ailments, including complications with the immune system, liver, and reproduction.
And researchers are still acquiring knowledge about PFAS, including the most effective methods to identify and quantify them, eliminate them from the atmosphere and liquid, and ascertain their enduring impacts.
For the examination, the kale specimens were dispatched to a laboratory endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and subsequently analyzed using the identical technique employed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Food and Drug Administration carried out examinations on kale from 2019 to 2021 and discovered no signs of PFAS pollution.
The latest study discovered that the amounts of PFAS reached up to 250 units per trillion. In the United States, there are no set boundaries for PFAS in food.
However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that any level of contact with PFAS substances in potable water cannot be deemed as safe.
The origin of PFAS contamination in kale remains uncertain, but it might have occurred due to the cultivation of kale using water contaminated with PFAS or in areas where polluted sludge had been distributed.
“It’s pretty scary, and there’s no easy solution,” Verkerk mentioned. Additionally, he urged the FDA to establish an improved PFAS examination initiative for the complete nourishment stock of the United States.