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Pesticides in viticulture: launch of a study on the exposure of local residents


Some 3,350 voluntary participants will be followed until 2022 to assess whether inhabitants of wine-growing areas are more exposed to pesticides.

Relations are sometimes strained between winegrowers and their neighborhood around the use of pesticides: to establish an

"objective photograph"

of the risks of exposure, public agencies are launching Tuesday, October 19 a study of unprecedented scope.

With “PestiRiv”, the national health security agency (ANSES) and Public Health France (SpF) will monitor some 3,350 voluntary participants until August 2022 to assess whether the inhabitants of wine-growing areas are more particularly exposed to pesticides.

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Read also EU: towards a "strong initiative" to phase out pesticides, announces Macron

The participants, ages 3 to 79, were drawn from INSEE databases in six regions with some of the main vineyards: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est, Nouvelle- Aquitaine, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

They are spread over 250 study areas reflecting the various local situations, and reside in wine-growing areas (less than 500 meters from vines and more than 1,000 meters from other crops) or more than 1,000 meters from any crop, in order to to facilitate comparisons.

Need for "scientific rigor"

All will be subject to biological monitoring (urine or hair samples, etc.) and environmental monitoring (ambient air sensors, samples of water or vegetables from the kitchen garden, etc.). Professional exposure, eating habits or domestic uses will also be scrutinized, as well as the methods of cultivation of nearby vineyards. It will thus be a question

of "integrating all the possible routes of exposure"

, over a period including periods of frequent treatment and others less, explains Sébastien Denys, CEO of SpF's occupational health and environment.

An experimental phase was carried out in 2019 in Grand-Est and New Aquitaine in order to finalize the protocol, validated by a scientific council.

The multidisciplinary study will also have a monitoring body, with the participation of professional organizations or NGOs.

Read alsoThe Bordeaux vineyard wants to put an end to pesticides

In total, several million samples will have to be analyzed, for results expected in 2024 and which should allow

"to objectify if there is an overexposure"

of neighboring populations and to

"understand why and how, in order to give all the information. levers for action ”

, underlines Ohri Yamada, head of phytopharmacovigilance at ANSES. This

"scientific rigor"

in the implementation of the study aims to guard against criticism while this sensitive subject has already led to trials, even physical tensions, in some regions, explain the organizers. Viticulture is particularly concerned because it consists of

“Perennial crops with relatively high treatment frequencies and a strong interweaving between the habitat and the vines,”

underlines Jean-Luc Volatier, from the risk assessment department of ANSES.

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2021-10-18

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