Saturday, December 4

Pesticide residues found on homes even 100m from crops, according to Générations Futures

Are you exposed to pesticides in your home? If you live within 100 yards of treated crops, yes, according to Generations Futures. The NGO is publishing, this Thursday, November 25, a study that questions the relevance of spreading distances. According to their figures, traces of phytosanitary products are found in 90% of homes located between 20 and 100m from cultivated land.

Générations Futures joined forces with the Yootest laboratory to lead the EXPORIP collaborative project (Exposure of residents to pesticides).

The NGO has chosen to focus on 30 pesticides authorized only for agricultural uses, which are among the most widely used in France.

The samples were taken by the participants on the windows of 58 houses located in Gironde, Bas-Rhin and the North.

Analysis of these samples showed at least one pesticide residue in 79.3% of cases. The distance from the treated crops clearly influences the result, since phytosanitary products were detected on 95% of the windows located less than 21m from the spreading areas, 90% of those between 20 and 100m and 50% of the houses more of 101m.

The majority (72.7%) of the samples showing no pesticide residue were taken from windows located more than 101m from the crops. However, remoteness is not always sufficient since the most distant contaminated sample had been taken 1,500m from the first treated area. The nature of the crops nearby is also to be taken into account: houses located near vineyards are in particular more exposed (94.4%) than those adjacent to field crops (73.1%).

Among the 30 phytosanitary products sought, 15 were detected at least once. Four suspected or proven endocrine disruptors, a possible carcinogen (Lenacil), a suspected reprotoxic (spiroxamine) or even SDHIs (boscalid and fluopyram) appear in particular on the list of pesticides found. So-called reprotoxic substances can alter fertility, while SDHIs, present in fungicides, have been the subject of several alerts from researchers.

Regulations to review

In April 2018, those of the CNRS, INRA and INSERM published a column in Liberation requesting the suspension of their use. A collective of activist associations, including Générations Futures, also, in January 2020, threatened the National Food Safety Agency (ANSES) to seize the Administrative Court of Lyon (Rhône) if it refused to repeal the marketing authorizations for three pesticides containing SDHIs. These substances are suspected of attacking the respiratory function of pathogenic fungi, but also that of earthworms, bees and humans.

If the results of the EXPORIP study are based only on a limited number of samples, Générations Futures believes that they are sufficient to identify a trend and justify larger samples. The NGO insists on the fact that the data obtained show “that the average exposure to pesticides (in terms of occurrence of residues, number of residues found and median concentration) seems quite comparable” in areas located within a perimeter. from 0 to 20m away from crops and those further away, up to 100m. “We only find significantly lower figures for samples taken beyond 100m”, specifies the analysis report.

At present, the minimum distances to be respected between the areas for spreading phytosanitary products and homes are five meters for low crops (vegetables, cereals) and ten meters for high ones (fruit trees, vines). Largely insufficient according to Générations Futures, which calls for this distance to be extended to 100m. Since the Council of State ordered the government to review its regulations on pesticide application areas last July, the NGO wishes to take advantage of this context to make its arguments heard.

At the same time, since October and until August 2022, Public Health France and ANSES are jointly carrying out a study aimed at better understanding the exposure to plant protection products of people living near vineyards. Called PestiRiv, this research work is carried out in six wine-growing regions and involves samples from the air, dust, urine, hair and food produced near crops. Full results are expected in 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *