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Générations Futures EXPPERT Survey 5: Pesticides that are banned or suspected to be EDCs are found in green salads

Generations Futures




The worrying results of the survey by EDC-Free campaign partner 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).

EXPPERT investigation

The investigation is available here in French

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 (1) recommend consumption, especially during pregnancy and childhood (2). 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 (3) monitoring plan published in 2013 showed that pesticide residues were present in almost 58% of samples tested. Moreover, according to EFSA (4) – 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. (5)
  • 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.


*French abbreviation for “Exposure to endocrine disrupters”
1. France’s National Institute of Prevention and Education for Health
2. and
3. Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Repression of Fraud, France
4. European Union report on pesticide residues in food (2013), EFSA Journal 2015; 13 (3): 4038. page 55. Available at:
5. The precise figure is an average of 3.77 residues (not including methyl bromide). With methyl bromide, the average is 4.38.

More information available here

Post provided by EDC-Free campaign partner Générations Futures (EN summary by EDC-Free Secretariat HEAL) 

Test: Toxins in your mobile phone?

How many hours per week do you hold your smartphone in your hand or by your ear? Maybe you check for messages, news or social updates several times per day. In brief, we are in frequent contact with our mobile phones. Consequently, EDC-Free campaign supporter the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals stresses that it is vital, that our phones do not expose us to hormone disrupting chemicals (EDCs) or cancer-causing substances.

In a previous test of head phones, the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals found unwanted substances. Now this new test reveals that you can text, surf or talk on your smartphone without having to worry about EDCs or cancerous substances.

“We have been eager to see the results of the test, and it is better than expected. It is reassuring that all the 10 examined products do well in our test, when you consider the vast number of people who are in close contact with their mobile phones every day. However, the test does reveal small quantities of unwanted substances, and we urge the manufacturers to phase them out,” says Christel Søgaard Kirkeby, project manager in The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

The test revealed small quantities of substances suspected to be hormone disrupting – such as flame retardants, phthalates and Bisphenol A. However, the concentrations were so insignificant that Christel Søgaard Kirkeby does not deem them problematic for the consumer.

“Electronic equipment has usually been known as an area where the manufacturers use chemical substances which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting or cancer-causing. But we are pleasantly surprised that only small amounts of these chemicals were found in the mobile phones. Consequently, they do not contribute in any significant way to the total amount of chemicals that we are exposed to in our everyday life,” she states.

Earlier this year the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals tested headphones. The test showed that 5 out of 16 head phones contained unwanted chemicals. But in the test of mobile phones there were no detection of unwanted chemicals in the enclosed earplugs.

More information available here

Post provided by EDC-Free campaign supporter the Danish Consumer Council

Study finds toxic additives in chewing gum for kids

After analysing 54 brands of chewing gum marketed to children, EDC-Free campaign supporter Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals found that 41 of them (76%) contained the potential hormone disrupting chemicals E320 and E321. Not only that, but in the three years that this analysis has been carried out, this year obtained the worst results. The two above substances are not the only ingredients that cause concern among experts, but also the gum appears to be becoming less healthy.

The two toxic substances in which this study focuses are E320 and E321, two antioxidants artificial food, also known as BHA and BHT. These compounds, from the oil industry, are present in other food products as well.

What can we do?

The first step is to avoid products with E320 and E321 among its ingredients. But there is an important second step – put pressure on the European authorities to withdraw food substances that have been shown to be toxic to our health.

Post provided by the Danish Consumer Council


Open letter to Commissioner Vella calling to ban the recycling of materials containing toxic flame retardants

Public interest groups are calling on the EU Commission to ban the recycling of materials containing toxic flame retardants.  In an open letter, the Centre for International Environmental Law, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Women in Europe for Common Future (WECF) (EDC-Free campaign partners) and IPEN, supported by public interest groups worldwide, highlighted the need to stop DecaBDE reappearing in recycled products.

DecaBDE is a toxic flame retardant mainly used in plastics for electronic and electrical equipment and in textiles. The substance is bioaccumulative, meaning it accumulates in living organisms and persistent, thereby staying in the environment for years. It also has potential adverse effects on human and animal hormone, reproductive, and nervous systems.

The issue will be addressed by both the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in September and the Stockholm Convention POPs Review committee in October.

The letter is available here

EDC-Free campaign partners who signed the letter:
Breast Cancer UK, BUND, CIEL, CHEM Trust, CPES, Ecologistas en Acción, EEB, Fundación Vivo Sano, 
Greenpeace, HEAL, HCWH, WECF 

EDC-Free campaign supporters who signed the letter: Commonweal, Eco-Accord, Fundación Alborada, IDEA – Irish Doctors Environmental Association, Quercus – National Association for Nature Conservation , TEDX – The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, and Wemos.

Post provided by the EDC-Free Secretariat 

One in Four Body Lotions Fail Chemical Test

Body lotions can contain allergenic preservatives and substances which are suspected to be EDCs, according to the Danish Consumer Council (an EDC-Free Europe campaign supporter). The organisation recently checked 54 different body lotions on the Danish market, including international brands, and found that 13 body lotions (24%) contain one or more unwanted substances.

The substances in question are allergenic preservatives and substances, for example parabens. Consumers should therefore take extra care when looking at the list of ingredients before they buy and apply body lotion to their skin.

In the test, 16 body lotions received the best possible marking. 24 only received an average rating due to their content of perfume, perfumed substances or plant extracts which all are known allergens.

“Perfumed lotion is the second most frequent cause of perfume allergy. Consequently, the consumers should be particularly aware of these. We recommend that they choose an unscented and eco-labeled body lotion to avoid the unwanted chemicals,” says Christel Søgaard Kirkeby of Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

The content of chemicals is particularly critical in body lotions because body lotions a product that stays on the skin for many hours. The longer a product stays on the skin, the more frequently you use it, and the larger the area of the body you use it on, the more likely you are to be exposed to unwanted and harmful chemicals.

The test results (in Danish) can be found here

Post provided by the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals


Over 2,700 parents sign petition for EDC-Free children’s products

An open and constructive talk between representatives of EDC-Free Europe campaign partner Women in Europe for a Common Future Netherlands (WECF), the Dutch Green Parent platform BabyBeGood, and the Director-General for public health Angelique Berg, reiterated that the Netherlands is taking the health risks of EDCs very seriously. The meeting took place at the Ministry of Health. 

WECF petition signed

After the meeting, WECF and BabyBeGood handed over a petition to the Director General in which parents voiced their concerns about the effects EDCs can have on the development and well-being of their children. The petition was signed by thousands of parents, both online, and offline, earlier this year at the sustainable baby plaza at the nine months fair.

The article is available in Dutch here

Post provided by WECF Netherlands

New ChemSec report on EDCs and the SIN List

chemsec new report

EDC-Free Europe campaign partner ChemSec has launched a publication focusing on all the EDCs on the SIN List, regardless of when they were added.

The SIN List, short for ‘Substitute It Now!’ consists of chemicals that have been identified by ChemSec as being Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs), based on the criteria for them defined within REACH. The SIN List aims to speed up the REACH process as well as to offer a glimpse into the possible future of European chemicals regulation. It is currently the most well-founded list available of REACH relevant EDCs.

This new publication informs you with useful and important information about which chemicals to take action on! ChemSec calls on decision-makers to ensure that these chemicals are regulated, sooner rather than later, and asks companies to investigate whether any of these chemicals are used in their processes and products and if so, search for safer alternatives to replace them.

The listing of EDCs on the SIN List is especially important, since it, as opposed to other available lists, identifies EDCs based on more than a potential concern, but on solid scientific data. A more specific description of how the EDCs were selected for the SIN List can be found after the list of substances in this publication.

The report is available here (EN)

Post provided by ChemSec

Alborada Foundation raises awareness of EDCs with new international project

EDC-Free campaign support Alborada Foundation has launched a new international project in Spain entitled ¡Que no te alteren las hormonas! (Don’t let EDCs disrupt your hormones!).

alborada logo

The objective of this new project (in Spanish) is to raise awareness about EDCs and chemicals that may affect our hormonal system and have irreversible impacts on our health and the health of future generations.

As we are exposed on a daily basis to these chemicals which could be avoided and replaced, ¡Que no te alteren las hormonas! aims to inform the public about these substances, where they are found, how we can act and how we can reduce our daily exposure. You can find information on EDCs, with all the latest news and FAQs. Resources are available in Spanish.

Alborada Foundation works at the international level to inform citizens and policy makers on EDCs as it is vital to reduce exposure to these chemicals and use alternatives to protect our health and the environment. There are increasingly more diseases and health conditions such as cancer, fertility problems, increase in allergies and other diseases that are not only of genetic origin. There are several factors involved with growing evidence that our environment plays a fundamental role in the development of many of these diseases.

There has been a significant growth in chemical production in the past decades which has increasingly affects our health and the environment in which we live. Scientists around the world are ringing the alarm bell on the impacts of EDCs. As we are exposed to EDCs every day for example in products such as shower gel, lipstick, perfume, cleaning products, toys, plastics, carpets, etc, it is important to reduce the exposure to these chemicals and everyone can play a part in doing so.

Follow Alborada Foundation onFacebook  and Twitter @FundAlborada

Post provided by Alborada Foundation. 

¡Que no te alteren las hormonas! aims to offer a forum of exchange in Spanish for organisations, researchers and professionals from different fields to share and present their studies, work and activities in order to reduce the exposure to EDCs.