a new study will measure the impregnation of the population in Guadeloupe and Martinique

The previous edition of the Kannari study, conducted by Public Health France, showed that more than 9 out of 10 West Indians had detectable chlordecone in their blood.


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A banana plantation in Lorrain (Martinique), May 24, 2019. (BENOIT DURAND / HANS LUCAS / AFP)

What “improve knowledge” And “strengthen prevention measures”. A new study will be carried out in Guadeloupe and Martinique to measure “the evolution of impregnation” of the population to pesticides such as chlordecone, glyphosate, as well as heavy metals such as lead, according to an announcement from Public Health France on Monday January 29.

The previous edition of this study, called Kannari and carried out in 2013-2014, showed that more than 9 out of 10 West Indians had detectable chlordecone in their blood. Some 14% of adults in Guadeloupe and 25% in Martinique even exceeded the threshold beyond which health effects are possible.

This new edition of the study will make it possible to “measure the evolution of the levels of impregnation of the population with chlordecone”but also to measure the impregnation with other molecules, as for the first time “glyphosate, pyrethroid metabolites (insecticides) and several heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury)”detailed SpF in a press release.

Dismissal for a “health scandal”

The study will involve more than 3,000 people drawn at random and agreeing to participate, including 700 children aged at least 6 years old, and will be carried out from January to July in mainland Guadeloupe and Martinique. It also aims to identify the factors associated with the high level of impregnation in the population, or to study the impregnation of the most sensitive (children and women of childbearing age) and the most exposed (agricultural workers, fishermen, residents in contaminated areas). .

Chlordecone, a pesticide used in banana plantations to combat the weevil, was banned in the United States in 1975, but authorized in France from 1972 to 1990, and even until 1993 in the Antilles, where it benefited from an exemption. . If they recognized a “health scandal”investigating judges from the health center of the Paris judicial court pronounced a dismissal in early 2023 in the investigation into the chlordecone poisoning of the West Indies, putting an end to a judicial investigation opened in 2008. Outraged, the civil parties appealed.

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