Homes close to pesticide spraying show all year exposure

People living close to cultivated areas are exposed at home all the year round and to a significant cocktail of pesticides, many of which are potential endocrine disruptors

The worrying results of Générations Futures EXPPERT survey 6 (dust analysis) show the urgent need to implement decisions taken under the European regulation on pesticides and within the French national strategy on endocrine disruptors.

Homes close to pesticide spraying show all year exposure, generations-futures, 1 March 2016.

To demonstrate the urgency of strong preventive action in regard to endocrine disruptors – substances that threaten the developing fetus and young children even at low doses – Générations Futures, a HEAL partner and member in France, decided to undertake a series of monitoring reports. These are based on detailed analyzes showing the omnipresence of a number of endocrine disrupting pesticides in our environment leading to significant exposure of the population. This series is called EXPPERT (an abbreviation for “Exposure to pesticides that are endocrine disruptors” in French).

Générations Futures wanted to know more about exposure to pesticides among those living close to where spraying takes place because these people are particularly vulnerable. Some of the pesticides are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. The survey therefore addressed whether people living in agricultural areas using synthetic chemicals in cultivation (in vineyards and orchards and on fields) were permanently exposed to pesticides even in their homes. It also asked whether this exposure included substances suspected of being endocrine disruptors and whether exposure varied according to the season.


Twenty-two dust samples were collected in July 2015. (Although 24 samples were taken from different homes taking part, two samples were unsuitable for laboratory testing.) In January 2016, an additional five samples were taken in homes that had taken part in the summer collection.

Six of the houses involved are situated in wine-growing areas, five are near orchards, eight are near field crops and the remaining three are in areas bordering on a mixture of these cultivations. Tests were undertaken for 61 different pesticides.

Results: a pesticides dust bath

The results went beyond all expectations:

  • Each home is exposed. Analysis of the dust samples showed that each contained between eight and 30 pesticides
  • On average, 60% of the pesticides detected are potential endocrine disruptors. The average number of pesticides per home is almost 20 pesticides and almost 12 are potential endocrine disruptors (60.18%)
  • Pesticides that are possible endocrine disruptors made up a very large proportion of the pesticide exposure. Specifically, 17.3 mg of an average of 17.6 mg of pesticides quantified per kg of dust were found to be potential endocrine disruptors (98.16% of the total)
  • Three products are found in all (100%) of samples. They are
    • permethrin,
    • tebuconazole
    • and dimethomorph).

Among the pesticides identified, some have been banned in agriculture in France for several years. For example, Diuron, or DCMU (3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea), which is found in over 90% of homes was banned in France in December 2008.

In summer and in winter

The total amount of all pesticides quantified decreased in the winter. Levels of different pesticides were between 30% and 95% lower than in the summer. In a sense, it is reassuring that the concentrations decrease. On the other hand, it is worrying that the exposure to these pesticides appears to exist throughout the entire year.

“These results clearly show that people living close to cultivated areas are exposed at home all the year round and to a significant cocktail of pesticides, many of which are potential endocrine disruptors. This fact illustrates the urgent need to change agricultural practices and to ensure that the spraying of synthetic pesticides is prohibited near areas where people live,”

says François Veillerette,
Générations Futures’ spokesperson. He adds:

“Our work also underlines the urgent need for the announcement of a definition of endocrine disruptors in order to provide real protection at European level. We call on the French government to put strong pressure on the European Commission so that this widespread exposure to endocrine disrupting pesticides in our countryside can be stopped tomorrow.”

  • François Veillerette, Générations Futures, tel: 00 33 6 81 64 65 58. Email
  • Nadine Lauverjat, Générations Futures, tel: 00 33 6 87 56 27 54. Email
  • Diana Smith, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), tel: 00 33 6 33 04 2943. Email

Enquête EXPPERT 6 (analyses de poussières) : des riverains de zones cultivées exposés aux pesticides perturbateurs endocriniens chez eux, tout au long de l’année!”, EXPPERT Survey 6: Read the full report online in French. It includes the analysis of dust samples from both the summer and winter test done by the laboratory, Kudzu Science. Press release in French.

Other materials available in English
  • EXPPERT Survey 1: Which endocrine disrupting insecticides are children exposed to everyday? Press release, Brussels, 25 March 2013
  • EXPPERT Survey 2: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and banned Pesticides in strawberries Press release, 25 March 2013
  • EXPPERT Survey 3: How are children exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals? Press release, 9 July 2014
  • EXPPERT Survey 4: Nineteen endocrine disrupting pesticides found in samples of women’s hair Press release, 12 March 2015
  • EXPPERT Survey 5: Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs are found in green salads Press release, 22 September 2015

Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs found in green salads

Endocrine disrupting chemicals found in green salads purchased in French supermarkets

This post content is published by HEAL, a leading alliance of health and environment groups working at EU level. Working for better health, through a healthy environment

image of green-salad
The worrying results of the survey by HEAL member Générations Futures shows the need for rapid implementation of the European Regulation on pesticides and of the French National Strategy on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

Générations Futures EXPPERT Survey 5 investigation

To demonstrate the urgent need for strong, preventive action in the field of endocrine disrupters, Générations Futures has launched a series of reports on these chemical substances, which threaten the development of the fetus and young children even at low doses. These reports are based on detailed testing and analysis to show the many, omnipresent endocrine disrupting pesticides in our environment causing significant human exposure. Green salad (lettuces, rocket/rucola, etc) is the fourth most highly consumed vegetable in France with households consuming 5kg per year, according to data from INSEE, a leading national statistical institute in France. Considered a “health” food, many brochures from INPES recommend consumption, especially during pregnancy and childhood . Generations Future fully supports these recommendations.

Green salad is subject to specific monitoring for the presence of certain chemical substances. Existing findings show that green salad is among the vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. The DGCCRF monitoring plan published in 2013 showed that pesticide residues were present in almost 58% of samples tested. Moreover, according to EFSA  – the European Food Safety Authority, 36% of lettuce contains between two and 13 different residues. Many of the residues EFSA commonly finds in lettuces are suspected endocrine disrupters, such as propamocarb and iprodione. These troubling data led us to want to know more about the presence of pesticides in salads in France, and especially about those pesticides suspected of being endocrine disrupters.

Results: Many endocrine disrupters found

Thirty-one samples of different green salads (lettuce, curly salad, rocket, etc.) were purchased in supermarkets in the Oise and in the Somme regions of Picardy between 28 May and 21 July 2015. The amount of samples at 31 is bigger than the representative threshold sample size of 30 which DGCCRF commonly uses.

Below are some of the condensed findings which are further elaborated in our full report.

  • The green salads tested each contain an average of almost four pesticides residues.
  • Of the 31 samples analysed, 80.65% contain at least one pesticide residue (25/31) – not including any residue of methyl bromide (as its origin may be natural rather than from a pesticide).
  • On average, the samples each contain more than two residues of endocrine disrupting pesticides (average: 2.09).
  • 67,74% of the samples contain at least one residue of an endocrine disrupting pesticide (21/31).
  • Among the 10 active ingredients most frequently found, seven are suspected to be endocrine disrupters.

Prohibited products

Five samples (16.13% of total sample) contain one or more prohibited active substances (two samples or 6.45% of the total) or contain an active substance prohibited in salad cultivation in France (three samples or 9.67% of the total). Of these latter three samples, one sample even contains two substances prohibited for use in salad cultivation in France (mandipropamid and imidacloprid).

“We are warning our leaders of the need to take immediate and strong measures to reduce people’s exposure to pesticides, and especially those suspected of being endocrine disrupters. We expect them to compel Europe to rapidly implement the decisions taken as part of the European Regulation 1107/2009, which prohibits putting endocrine disrupting pesticides on the market,” says François Veillerette, spokesperson for Generations Futures.

“In addition, it is unacceptable that pesticides which are banned in Europe or prohibited in the cultivation of salad in France are present in over 16% of the samples tested. Again, we expect strong government action to quickly put an end to this situation – both in the cultivation of salads and all the other crops,” he adds.

Insecticide mon amour, vidéo bande annonce

Film documentaire sur le conséquences des insecticides sur la santé et l’environnement

Une enquête de plus de 2 ans autour du problème des traitements obligatoires aux insecticides contre la flavescence dorée dans le vignoble bourguignon.

Plus d’information
  • Guillaume Bodin est ouvrier viticole en Saône-et-Loire lorsqu’il est victime des traitements obligatoires aux insecticides contre la cicadelle de la flavescence dorée. Comme il est impossible de se faire entendre, le jeune réalisateur de “La Clef des Terroirs” décide alors de quitter son travail pour s’engager dans une enquête de plus de deux ans!  Il part à la rencontre de nombreux acteurs du milieu viticole et scientifique comme Emmanuel Giboulot, ce vigneron ayant refusé de traiter aux insecticides, ou Jean-Marc Bonmatin, chercheur au CNRS et lanceur d’alerte sur les effets catastrophiques de l’utilisation de ce type de pesticides sur l’environnement. Le couple Claude et Lydia Bourguignon lui apporte de nombreuses informations sur l’impact de ces produits chimiques sur l’écosystème des sols. Tout n’est cependant pas si sombre dans cette affaire, car un collectif de vignerons essaye de faire évoluer le dossier vers un plus grand respect de l’environnement. Vidéo publiée le 7.04.015 par Guillaume Bodin.
  • Débattre autour du film Insecticide mon amour sur Facebook.
  • Voir le film sur MontparnasseVOD.
  • Insecticide mon amour, le plaidoyer d’un ouvrier viticole contre les pesticides, bastamag, 24 AVRIL 2015.
  • Regardez cette liste de produits chimiques et pesticides sur notre chaîne YouTube.

Scènes de la Vie Hormonale

Le speed dating et les pertubateurs endocriniens vu par Le Canard Enchainé

Scènes-de-la-Vie-Hormonale comics image
Le Canard Enchaîné 28 mars 2015 – “Scènes de la Vie Hormonale“.
On Flickr®

Pesticide EDCs found in Samples of Women’s Hair

Nineteen endocrine disrupting pesticides found in samples of women’s hair

Hair samples analysis found an average of 21 EDCs per woman, including 19 pesticide EDCs.

The content on this post is produced by HEAL and Générations Futures.

To what extent are women in the child bearing age group exposed to endocrine disrupting pesticides? The fourth part of a study series by French NGO Générations Futures’ provides results of human biomonitoring for endocrine disruptors in samples of women’s hair.

Endocrine disruptors:
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that can affect the hormonal system of the body and produce adverse effects on the individual or his or her descendants. Unborn and young children are most at risk of being exposed to these substances. A recent study showed that the impact of these EDCs could have significant costs for society (between 1 and 2% of GDP in Europe!).

Act now:
To demonstrate the urgency of preventive action in the field of endocrine disruptors, Générations Futures decided to carry out a series of EXPPERT reports (French abbreviation for exposure to endocrine disruptors – EXPosition aux PERTurbateurs endocriniens), which show that the presence of EDCs in our environment leads to significant population exposure. Since young and unborn children are especially vulnerable, Générations Futures wanted to identify the extent to which vulnerable groups are exposed to EDCs, including in utero.

A novel and targeted survey:
The EXPPERT survey 4 puts the focus on the exposure of women of childbearing age who are living in urban areas in the region Ile de France (greater Paris area). The investigation was carried out by an independent research laboratory using samples of a strand of hair from 29 women. The samples were collected between March and October 2014. Only 28 samples were analysed as one of the hair samples was found to be inadequate. The laboratory work was carried out in early 2015 testing for 64 suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals, including 54 pesticides or pesticide metabolites, six brominated flame retardants and four PCBs.

The synthesis results confirmed our fears. An average of 21 EDCs were found per woman, including 19 pesticide EDCs. The number of EDCs found ranged from 32 to 12 per hair sample. In terms of weight, the lowest average amount of EDC residues per sample was 109.39 picogramme/milligram. The maximum amount per sample was 387.27 pg/mg (in comparison to 24.14 pg/mg for the lowest one). In other words, there was a 1:16 ratio between the less contaminated and most contaminated!

“These results show that all these women in childbearing age are contaminated. We are very concerned about the possible effects for the women’s children later in their lives. However, significant differences exist between individuals demonstrating that the environment and/or diet of these women play an important role in their level of exposure to EDCs. We must act on these factors to reduce to exposures to the maximum extent.”

“We have taken note of the progress of the French National Strategy on EDCs (SNPE) in taking into account the need to reduce the EDCs exposure of citizens. It is now time for the European Commission to finally publish a protective definition of EDCs, which will enable the EU Regulations on pesticides and biocides to be fully implemented.”

says François Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures.

Les perturbateurs endocriniens: la menace invisible

Nos vies empoisonnées pour plusieures générations

Perturbateurs endocriniens  La menace invisible; book cover image
Un livre de Marine Jobert et François Veillerette, Ed. Buchet Chastel, paru ce 12 mars 2015.

Préface de Nicolas Hulot

Que nous arrive-t-il ? Une nouvelle menace, invisible, s’attaque à la santé humaine. Ce sont les perturbateurs endocriniens. Inconnus il y a 25 ans, ils mobilisent aujourd’hui des milliers de scientifiques à travers le monde qui cherchent à percer le secret de ces substances chimiques qui détraquent le système hormonal.

Bisphénol A, phtalates, pesticides, retardateurs de flamme… La liste est longue des produits d’usage courant qui renferment ces centaines de poisons, suspectés de favoriser cancers, diabète, obésité et autres maladies de la reproduction. Ils se trouvent dans l’air que nous respirons, les aliments que nous mangeons, l’eau que nous buvons, dans les habits et les cosmétiques que nous utilisons chaque jour. Un scandale autorisé par la réglementation, exploité par les industriels et toléré par les pouvoirs publics.

Pour la première fois en France, un livre fait le point sur la bombe sanitaire que constituent les perturbateurs endocriniens. Qui sont-ils ? Quand sommes-nous exposés ? Pourquoi sommes-nous si mal protégés ? Une révolution de l’espèce est en cours. Et elle se déroule dans l’ignorance et l’indifférence quasi générales.

Marine Jobert est journaliste, spécialisée dans les questions environnementales. François Veillerette, militant écologiste, est le porte-parole de l’association Générations futures. Ils ont publié ensemble Le Vrai Scandale des gaz de schiste en 2011.

Sur Flickr®