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Non-compliant drinking water for 5% of the inhabitants of Occitanie – The Independent

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The Regional Health Agency indicates that 5% of the region’s population consumes, occasionally or more permanently, “non-compliant” drinking water. In question: the presence of metabolites, degraded residues of pesticides. In France, 20% of the inhabitants of the metropolis, or 12 million people, drank non-compliant “tap” water last year. Or of lower quality than elsewhere on the territory because soiled by pesticides or pesticide residues. They were less than 6% in 2020 revealed our colleagues from Le Monde in their edition of September 21, and from France 2, in the program Complément d’Enquête broadcast on Thursday evening. In the Occitanie region, 5.11% of the population would be affected by water “non-compliant with regard to pesticides and their desired metabolites”, i.e. some 300,000 people. A proportion delivered by the Regional Health Agency (ARS) that The Independent requested this Friday. The ARS adding that the contamination concerns “72 distribution networks out of the 3,800 networks supplied by 4,700 catchments”. 300,000 people concerned in all departments The thirteen departments of the greater region are subject to these contamination phenomena, whether regular or episodic. “Yes, the phenomenon is observed in all the departments but with disparities, wants to specify the ARS. There are variations according to the departments and it also depends on the quality or the history of the water distribution networks drinkable”.
Our colleagues from Midi Libre note examples of municipalities impacted in the Gard, in Meynes, where the presence of a herbicide used in viticulture was detected in the water; and in Lauroux, north of Hérault, where residues of a hydrocarbon derivative were detected in June and July. In the Aude department, two hamlets would be affected by excessively high thresholds (see also the box below). Rural and mountain areas would be more affected by the phenomenon. Pesticide contamination The source of this contamination is well known, it is pesticides and precisely pesticide metabolites, new molecules resulting from the degradation of the pesticides themselves. “Like variants”, explains the ARS, which makes no secret of their origins: agricultural practices. Agricultural practices that vary from one region of France to another, as from one department to another. “In the north of the country, it will be beets for example, here the vine for example”, confirms the Agence d’Occitanie. What health risks ? The Regional Health Agency indicates that “280 molecules of pesticides and metabolites are sought in the context of health checks” and that it is, because of the “very wide variety of metabolites”, difficult to set thresholds. “We apply the directives of the General Directorate of Health which constantly adapt to scientific developments (the last list of molecules was published in July-Editor’s note) and we multiply health checks”, insists the Agence d’Occitanie who can, if necessary, ask an operator to “cut off” the drinking water supply to a sector; “after prefectural or municipal decree”. On the other hand, the ARS does not provide any scientific argument to point out or not a health risk linked to these metabolites. But for Montpellier’s Julie Mendret, doctor of environmental process engineering, interviewed by Midi Libre, “the concentration of these residues in tap water is disproportionate to the levels found directly in untreated foods. bios”. The list of pesticides searched can be consulted here
The list of results of checks in Occitania there Ongoing investigations in two hamlets in Aude The Occitanie Regional Health Agency indicated last night that it had launched investigations around two Aude hamlets mentioned during the France 2 program Complément d investigation, broadcast Thursday evening. This is the hamlet of Creuille, dependent on the municipality of Termes; and the Fraissinède hamlet of Val-de-Dagne. “The services of the ARS are mobilized in support of the elected officials concerned to implement solutions to the non-conformities observed, details the Agency. These ongoing investigations will be the subject of a future update”.

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