France: NGO warns of the amount of pesticides in the air

Pesticide spraying in a field, in Bailleul, France. Photo dated June 2015. AFP / PHILIPPE HUGUEN

Text by: RFI Follow

The NGO Générations Futures published a report Tuesday, February 18, on pesticides suspected of being endocrine disruptors or carcinogens present in the air. Conclusion: whatever the region, the air is likely to be unbreathable in France.


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As studies on pesticides in the air are not compulsory, the NGO had to do an ant job by analyzing very disparate local studies. She concludes that the air breathed by the French contains substances that are far from harmless to health. Daily, the French breathe " a cocktail of pesticides " of which a quarter " are suspected of being carcinogens, mutagens or toxic for reproduction ", underlines François Veillerette, director of the environmental defense NGO, Generations Futures .

Just over half of the residues found are endocrine disruptors, these are substances that can disrupt the hormonal system. Overall, the image that comes out is that the pesticide residue substances that we breathe are rather substances of concern, ”adds François Veillerette.

" We also ask that residents be better protected "

Faced with this observation, Générations Futures requests a series of measures, including the immediate withdrawal of the most dangerous substances. Today, we still tolerate certain CMRs (carcinogenic-mutagenic-reprotoxic) but we still haven't found a way to remove them. This is what we are asking to do. Then, we also ask that local residents be better protected from cultivated areas, starting with a very simple trick, an obligation for farmers to warn local residents with a small SMS to their neighbors, indicating that they will treat within hours or the next day ”.

The NGO is also campaigning to increase the distances between the treated areas and local residents. These distances have just been set by a recent controversial decree against which Générations Futures and other associations will file an appeal next week.

► To listen to: C'est pas du vent - Pesticides: a health catastrophe without culprit

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  • France
  • Environment
  • Health and Medicine

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