A study with 3,350 inhabitants in six French wine-growing regions wants to find out which pesticide exposures the local inhabitants are exposed to over a cultivation year. The "PestiRiv" project is organised by the French Agency for Health Security (Anses) and the national health authority(Santé Publique France). "In France, a large part of the rural population lives in wine-growing regions. Are these people particularly exposed to the chemical agents used for phytopharmaceutical treatments, and if so, how?" reads the question, according to a pres release from the two institutions. From a toxicological point of view, the hazardousness of these substances is increasingly well documented. On the other hand, there is much less evidence in the scientific literature on the question of substances to which the population is exposed in the vicinity of vineyards.
For this purpose, 3,350 people in 250 municipalities of the regions Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie as well as Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur will be medically monitored between October 2021 and August 2022. 1.500 adults and 750 children were randomly selected to live less than 500 metres from vineyards but more than one kilometre from another agricultural crop. The control group is 750 adults and 350 children living in equivalent rural communities but in non-agricultural areas.
Traces of about fifty active substances used in the vineyard are sought by collecting hair, urine and environmental samples before and during the treatment season. The list of fungicides, insecticides and herbicides "corresponds to the most commonly used, most widely sold and most toxic substances in viticulture", explains Ohri Yamada, Anses' scientific director.
Clémence Fillol, epidemiologist at Santé Publique France, expects the results to be published in 2024 and stresses: "This study, which combines biological and environmental measurements, will make it possible to accurately describe the risk of people living near vineyards and to determine whether there is overexposure in this population. The aim, he says, is to record the risks so that they can be managed.
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