For several years, associations, doctors and local residents have been warning about the exposure of populations to chemical treatments of crops near their homes and workplaces.
Currently, the French regulation imposes minimum safety distances for the spreading of phytosanitary products - more commonly called 'pesticides' - of :
- 20 meters for the substances that are the most worrying for human health,
- 10 meters for tree and vine crops whose height exceeds 50 cm,
- 5 meters for other crops.
For local residents and associations, these minimum treatment distances are not sufficient to protect them from acute and chronic exposure to multiple plant protection products.
Let us recall that the governmental incentives to reduce the use of pesticides on crops (ECOPHYTO and ECOPHYTO II plans) have not had the expected impact and that the quantities used have increased instead of decreasing.
There is currently very little scientific data on the distances of fallout from pesticide application residues.
Many specialists in the field suspect that pesticides can migrate over distances of several kilometers. As proof, agricultural pesticides are measured in the air of cities during campaigns carried out by the AASQA.
Due to the lack of available data, experts are uncertain about the actual minimum distances necessary to protect populations from exposure to pesticide residues.
It is to this lack of data for scientists but also for people in charge of public policies that EXPORIP: EXPOsition des RIverains aux Pesticides agricoles will try to answer.
Who is concerned by the pesticide measurement campaign?
First of all, all those who live on the edge of agricultural plots and therefore as close as possible to the spreading areas. In these zones it is established that there are deposits of pesticides and our study will make it possible to characterize them and to measure the quantities.
It is therefore also important that people who are not close to the spraying zones mobilize themselves to confirm that pesticides are dispersed over much greater distances than those retained by the legislator.
We are therefore ALL concerned.
EXPORIP: A world first
In this context, it seems essential to have reliable and precise data to evaluate the migration distances of phytosanitary products and the molecules concerned.
Générations Futures and YOOTEST have joined forces to organize the first national citizen campaign to measure the dispersion of agricultural pesticides. To be successful, this independent and participatory initiative requires the mobilization of the greatest number of people to obtain a sufficient number of measurement points.
What are the objectives of this campaign?
- To reinforce knowledge on the dispersion of agricultural pesticides outside of the application areas.
- To inform the public about their contamination outside the application areas.
- To share the data collected with all parties concerned.
The sharing of knowledge is essential to advance scientific research and allow the greatest number of people to be informed.
The results obtained during this measurement campaign will be presented in a summary report.
This report will be distributed to town halls, authorities (Ministries of Health, Environment and Agriculture, Regional Health Agency, ANSES), deputies and senators, associations concerned and the media.
The results, which are anonymous, will be available online for all citizens who are the first to be concerned.
What are the pesticides searched for?
A list of 30 active ingredients among the most used in France according to the BNVD (National Bank of Sales of phytopharmaceutical products by authorized distributors) and authorized in agriculture was defined by the scientific committees of Générations Futures and YOOTEST.
You will find the complete list on the page: How were the agricultural pesticides measured during the EXPORIP campaign selected?
How are pesticides measured?
Pesticides are applied to crops by spraying. This method of application disperses large quantities of pesticides into the air, which then settle on surfaces such as windows.
Participants receive a sampling kit and collect the sample on a window pane themselves using a wipe, following the protocol provided.
The sample is then sent to the laboratory with the prepaid return envelope.
The wipe is then extracted with an organic solvent and the extract is analyzed by chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS and GC-MSMS) to identify and quantify each of the selected pesticides.
Why participate in the EXPORIP campaign to measure spreading distances?
The question of the exposure of local residents is not clear-cut and knowledge on the subject is far from complete. Participation in the participatory science campaign aims to acquire this knowledge and to allow an evaluation of pollution levels as a function of distance.
By participating in the pesticide measurement campaign, everyone can contribute to the acquisition of the knowledge necessary to answer questions about pollution induced by pesticide drift.
- To protect yourself and your family from pesticide drift, you need to know the reality of your situation.
- By sharing, anonymously, your analysis results with the independent scientific community, you bring the essential data to evaluate the extent of the pollution and the most effective means to remedy it.
- By sharing this knowledge with the public, associations, the media and the authorities, you allow the implementation of solutions to better protect you.
How to participate in the EXPORIP pesticide measurement campaign ?
- Order a sampling kit on the EXPORIP page
- Take your sample.
- Return your sample to the laboratory with the included prepaid return envelope.
How much does it cost to participate?
The basic support to our campaign includes the purchase of a sampling kit which costs 15€ plus 10€ for shipping. The sampling kit includes the return of the sample to the laboratory. By sending your sample to the laboratory, you contribute to the common effort and will receive the synthesis of all the results of the measurement campaign.
But you can help our campaign even more by paying the cost of the analysis of the sample that you send back for 135€ extra (in addition to the cost of the sampling kit). In addition to the results of the campaign, this will allow you to obtain the analysis results specific to your sample. In this case, you will receive not only the summary of all results of the measurement campaign but also your analysis results in an individual interpreted report.
For economic and political reasons, the authorities will not do these measurements.
It is therefore essential to protect us that everyone is mobilized to measure the extent of pollution caused by the drift of plant protection products outside the spreading areas.