In the article "Americans for Safe Food - Some Chemicals Found in Food," Townsend Letter for Doctors3 is an article on a few dangerous but common chemicals:
"Captan: a fungicide that causes cancer in lab animals...used on various fruits, nuts, and vegetables including apples, peaches, almonds, strawberries, beans, peas, beets, carrots, corn, garlic, cabbage, lettuce, potatoes, kale, spinach, and broccoli...has been found in oils, fats, and shortenings...used in postharvest treatments for potatoes and fruit, sometimes in packing boxes...used as a seed treatment on corn and soybeans...toxic to fish, bees, earthworms, and birds.
"Parathion (ethyl parathion): an insecticide that causes birth defects in chicks and ducklings...evidence suggests it could be carcinogenic in laboratory animals...used on cotton, tobacco, and many fruit and vegetable crops...banned in 6 countries...direct exposure extremely hazardous...highly toxic to birds, bees, and other non-pest species.
"Daminozide: trade name Alar, manufactured by Uniroyal Company...applied as a plant-growth regulator to apple and other orchard crops (cherry, nectarine, peach, prune, pears, grapes) to increase the fruits' storage life, firmness, and coloring...also approved for use on peanut crops...systemic chemical penetrates the whole fruit and cannot be removed by washing or peeling...causes cancer in laboratory animals...a breakdown product (unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine, UDMH) is an even more potent carcinogen.
"Paraquat: a potent herbicide used to prepare fields for planting or harvesting...used on soybean crops as a harvest aid...extremely poisonous on direct exposure...toxic to fish and other species.
"Benomyl: a postharvest fungicide used on apples, peaches, cherries, plums, apricots, nectarines, pears, pineapples, bananas, mangoes, etc...linked to malignant tumors and birth defects in laboratory animals...highly toxic to earthworms and some species of fish.
"Methyl Bromide: used as a pre-plant soil fumigant and as a post-harvest fumigant to control insects on stored nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables...very toxic on direct exposure - 60 deaths since 1955...Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), awaiting results of studies regarding cancer, birth defects and mutations, nevertheless recently allowed use of methyl bromide on macadamia nuts, fava beans, sweet potatoes, pistachio nuts, kiwi fruit, cereals, flour, spices, root crops, lentils, and leafy vegetables.
"Trifluralin: also known as Treflan...contains a suspected carcinogen, NDPA...commonly used on carrots, soybeans, cotton, wheat, and barley...EPA awaiting more data on health risks.
"Chlorothalonil: trade name Bravo...a fungicide found to cause tumors in rats and mice...used on various vegetables, fruits, and beans including tomatoes, onions, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, lettuce, potatoes, and watermelon...highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates.
"Linuron: an herbicide used on crops including soybeans, carrots, celery, asparagus, corn, potatoes, and wheat...associated with tumors in rats and mice...contaminates ground and surface water supplies.
"Aflatoxin: a powerful carcinogen produced naturally by a mold that grows on crops including field corn and peanuts...human exposure primarily from peanuts and milk from dairy cows raised on contaminated feed...one experiment produced tumors in all rats eating food contaminated with 15 parts aflatoxin per billion.
"Clorsulon: used to treat livestock afflicted with a type of parasitic flatworm called a fluke...a suspected carcinogen (kidney tumors).
"Fenbendazole: used to treat cattle for parasites...a mutagen and a possible carcinogen.
"Thibendazole (TBZ): used to treat livestock for parasitic intestinal worms...a suspected carcinogen...also used for postharvest treatments of bananas, citrus, apples, pears, sugar beets, and potatoes to protect