The NGO Future Generations wants to better measure the exposure of residents of cultivated areas to pesticides and once again asked Thursday to strengthen the minimum distances to be respected between areas where plant protection products are spread and homes.

Générations futures, which fights against the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, has launched "a citizen survey" on the exposure to pesticides of residents of cultivated areas, said François Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures, at the AFP.

Sampling kit

About sixty households took part in the summer and fall.

The NGO and a laboratory have chosen a list of 30 pesticides among the most used in France for agricultural uses.

They sent the participants a sampling kit to look for traces of pesticides on the windows of their homes.

These people also filled out a questionnaire indicating in particular the date and place of sampling, the distance and orientation from the nearest agricultural plot, the type of crop, the presence of a hedge or not.

The NGO initiated this process because it received requests from people wishing to know their possible exposure to pesticides, explained François Veillerette.

"We looked for an easy method," he said.

High frequency near the vines

"There can be an imprecision on the distance, that is part of the limits, but the idea is to have orders of magnitude", recognizes François Veillerette.

“Of the 30 pesticides sought, 15 were detected at least once.

These are 9 fungicides, 5 herbicides and 1 insecticide ”, indicates Future generations in a press release.

"The distance to crops influences this percentage of occurrence" continues the NGO, as well as the number of pesticides found in each sample.

"It is more common to detect pesticides near vines (94.4%) compared to field crops (73.1%)", indicates Générations futures.

The campaign will resume from April, with the aim of having “as many samples as possible,” added François Veillerette. These results "plead for the establishment of areas without really significant treatments, much wider than the 5 to 10 m currently planned", argues Future generations, which recommends a distance of 100 meters.

The NGO asks “the government (…) to take this situation into account in order to significantly strengthen the too short distances currently in place”.

The government, after an opinion from the Council of State, must strengthen by the end of December the regulations governing the spreading of pesticides.

The current minimum distances between spreading areas and homes are five meters for so-called low crops such as vegetables and cereals, and ten meters for tall crops, fruit trees or vines, with exceptions reducing these distances to three meters for crops. highs and five for bass.

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