Step 8: Should I Eat Produce Grown in My Garden?
The amount of PFAS you are likely to consume from homegrown produce depends on a number of factors:
- The PFAS level in your soil; currently, there are no health-based soil guidelines to compare your results against.
- The type of crop grown and the part of the plant you are eating; early-stage research results suggest that PFAS accumulates more in leafy and stem plant parts and less in storage roots, fruits, and seeds/grains.
- The amount of homegrown produce you consume; if you have a small garden the produce you consume from your own garden likely represents only a fraction of what you eat.
Research on plant uptake and accumulation of PFAS is still in the very early stages. Based on current findings, it appears that there would be a lower likelihood of PFAS accumulation in tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, corn kernels, and other fruiting parts of plants. There would be a higher potential for PFAS accumulation in lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens. Out of an abundance of caution, if you want to stop consuming any type of plant, leafy greens are often the most likely to accumulate soil contaminants and this appears to hold true for PFAS as well.
|To direct questions to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, please email: extension.PFASQuestions@maine.edu|