Coop Sverige AB have a short video shown based on an unpeer-reviewed pilot study that found that a family who ate conventionally-grown food had urine tests that could detect pesticides.

(The pesticides were well below dangerous levels. After two weeks of eating organic food, these levels dropped dramatically.)

Are ingested pesticides detectable in urine samples?

  • 2
    One thing worth noting, is that in the study they define organic as 'any food grown free from pesticides' which I believe isn't the same defination that organic certification organisations use.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 8:28
  • As it's currently phrased I think this is a duplicate of Is it almost impossible to find animals that are not contaminated by chemicals?
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 8:32
  • 1
    Page 18 of PDF says that the estimated levels ingested were more than 10 times lower than the "ADI" which is, "the amount of a substance that is considered safe to ingest every day with no risk of adverse health effects".
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


Yes. Ingested pesticides are detectable in urine samples which is shown by studies such as

  1. Pesticide residues in urine of adults living in the United States: reference range concentrations Robert H. Hill, 1995

We measured 12 analytes in urine of 1000 adults living in the United States to establish reference range concentrations for pesticide residues. Reference range concentrations provide information about pesticide exposure and serve as a basis against which to compare concentrations in subjects who may have been exposed to pesticides.

  1. Organophosphate pesticide residues in urine of farm workers and their children in Fresno County, California Paul K. Mills, 2001

Spot urine samples were obtained and analyzed for six metabolites of organophosphate (OP) pesticides using gas chromatography with flame photometric detection methods. The metabolites of OP pesticides included DMP, DEP, DMTP, DMDTP, DETP, and DEDTP

  1. Evaluation of Organochlorine Pesticide Residues in Human Urine from Rural Population in Sudan M. E. M. Taha, 2013

Out of 36 samples of human urine that were analyzed, DDE was detected in 4 out of 12 (33%) female and 3 out of 12 (25%) male.

  1. Selected Pesticide Residues or Metabolites in Blood and Urine Specimens from a General Population Survey Robert S. Murphy, 1983

In urine samples, about 79% of these tested had detectable levels of pentachlorophenol. Significant proportions of the samples had detectable levels of pesticide-related phenolic residues: 3,5,6- trichloro-2-pyridinol, 2,4,5-trichlorophenol and pnitrophenol. Detectable levels of dicamba and 2,4-D were less common. Residues of malathion-related metabolites in urine specimens occurred, but quite infrequently. Residues of carbamate pesticide metabolites in urine occurred in 2-4% of the tested samples.

"Organic produce consistently has lower levels of pesticide residues than does conventionally grown produce and a diet of organic produce reduces human exposure" Joel Forman, 2012. A study has found a link between diet and exposure to specific pesticides, particularly synthetic organophosphorus pesticides. The researchers Lu C, 2006 et al found that switching children from a conventional food diet to an entirely organic diet dropped the urinary levels of specific pesticide metabolites for malathion and chlorpyrifos to nondetectable levels in days. However, it's important to note that the pesticide levels these researchers detected during the conventional diet are several orders of lower magnitude than the levels needed in animal experiments to cause neurodevelopmental or other adverse health effects.

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