Campaign partner Générations Futures’ has launched a report showing that children in a small-scale study in France have an average of 21 residues of endocrine disrupting pesticides in samples of their hair.

To underline the urgency for preventive actions on EDCs, this French NGO has conducted a series of reports based on laboratory analysis that show the omnipresence of many pesticides in our environment and how much the general population is exposed to EDCs: these are known as EXPPERT reports (French abbreviation of « EXposition aux Pesticides PERTurbateurs endocriniens » which means ‘exposure to endocrine disrupting pesticides’).

Because children are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of EDCs, it is especially important that they are not exposed to them. That is why Générations Futures wanted to look at the endocrine disrupting pesticides to which children may be exposed.

An unprecedented and targeted survey. The EXPPERT 3 report therefore focuses on the exposure of young children living and/or attending school in agricultural areas. A lock of hair was taken from 30 children participating in the survey, which were then analysed by an independent research laboratory. The samples were collected by the child’s parents between October and December 2013 and the analysis was carried out in early 2014. The investigation tested for 53 pesticides that are suspected to be EDCs.

Results in brief.

  • On average, 21 residues of endocrine disrupting pesticides have been found per child.
  • 35 endocrine disrupting pesticides, or metabolites of endocrine disrupting pesticides, were found at least once (out of the total of 53), that is 66%.
  • On average, 639 pg/mg in hair per child.
  • 13 substances out of the 53 were found in all samples, including various substances that are prohibited in agriculture. However, many of these products and substances are permitted in domestic and veterinary use.

«With an average of 21 residues of pesticides with endocrine disrupting characteristics in the hair samples analysed, the results show that our children are truly exposed to a considerable cocktail of chemical substances,» says François Veillerette, spokesperson for Générations Futures and Chair of PAN Europe.

“We have taken note of the progress achieved in the proposed national strategy on EDCs, which takes into account the need to reduce the exposure to EDCs of the population. It is now crucial that the European Commission finally publishes protective and comprehensive EDC criteria, which will enable the EU Regulations on pesticides and biocides to be fully implemented,” he concludes.

  • Press release available here in EN - FR