Yes, based on limited information and PFAS water levels found in Washington, we don't expect produce to be a significant source of PFAS exposure. The health benefits of gardening may outweigh any health risks.
It is possible for some PFAS from contaminated soil or irrigation water to reach edible parts of plants. However, a garden study by the Minnesota Department of Health showed that for PFAS with health-based guidelines, levels did not exceed health-based guidelines for exposure. Research on this question is emerging. If you are concerned, here are some ways to minimize exposure:
- PFAS may be in soil particles. Wash or scrub all dirt off produce before eating to avoid consuming soil.
- Peel and wash root vegetables before eating.
- Wear garden gloves when working in the garden, and wash hands with soap and water after.
- Add clean compost to your garden soil. Increasing the organic content of your garden soil can reduce the amount of PFAS your plants pick up from the soil.
- Use rainwater or install a filter to remove PFAS from garden irrigation water.
There are no current standards for allowable PFAS in commercial produce. If you raise and sell crops, contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture for their most updated guidance.