London: Washing fruit and vegetables does not remove chemical pesticide residues, tests commissioned by the UK government food watchdogs show.
One chemical, which has links to cancer, birth defects and infertility, remained on the skin of apples despite the basic kitchen practice. Others remained both on the outside of potatoes and within the flesh, even after cooking.
The findings suggest that the most effective way to minimise the chemicals found on fruit and vegetables is to peel them.
Researchers looked at apples treated with the insecticide chlorpyrifos, fungicides captan and carbendazim, and antioxidant diphenylamine.
They found: The residues of diphenylamine and carbendazim were not decreased by washing, but were decreased in the peel and core samples by cooking.
Diphenylamine is not dangerous, however carbendazim is banned in the US as it has been linked to cancer, birth defects and disruption of cell development.