A new study from Générations Futures has found 232 suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides and metabolites in French surface waters.

This new report is part of a series of publications from Générations Futures on endocrine disrupting chemicals. It is based on 2015 official data collected by French water agencies about surface waters in mainland France, Martinique and Réunion, and aggregated in the Naïdes database.  

The main conclusions of the report are as follow:

  • A total of 232 active substances of suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides and metabolites were found at least once in surface waters in each of France’s administrative departments, the average per department being about 183.
  • On average at least 41 suspected endocrine disrupting active substances and metabolites were found in each department, or 22.8% of the suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides investigated.
  • The number of active pesticide substances found in surface waters that are suspected endocrine disruptors varies from one department to another: from 4 for southern Corsica to 90 for Calvados.
  • The most frequently found suspected active endocrine disrupting substances and metabolites in relation to the number of analyses carried out also vary by department. The three most frequently occurring substances are glyphosate (37 departments), atrazine-desethyl (30 departments), and metolachlor (15 departments).

Générations Futures has made available several maps to illustrate these conclusions by administrative department:

  • One map illustrates the number of suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides quantified at least once. A search engine placed under this first map makes it possible to search the detailed data for each department.
  • Another map shows the percentage of suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides quantified at least once.
  • A third map lists the 3 suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides with the highest percentages of quantification.
  • The last map illustrates the percentage of glyphosate quantified in surface waters.

"For Générations Futures, these results showing the existence of significant cocktails of endocrine disrupting pesticides in the surface waters of many French departments are worrying”, says François Veillerette, Director of Générations Futures.

"They show that agricultural chemistry threatens aquatic biodiversity. These results are also to be interpreted as the indicator of a significant contamination of the environment in which humans live. For these reasons, we urge officials to urgently implement a national strategy on endocrine disruptors in France that really aims at their total ban.”