By pointing to data from regional health agencies highlighting that in 2021, 20% of French people in France, i.e. 12 million people, were confronted, occasionally or regularly, with tap water with thresholds that were too high in pesticides and metabolites, Le Monde newspaper threw a stone into the pond.
Already in the spring of 2021, UFC-Que Choisir, through its interactive water map , denounced the presence of pesticides in drinking water and the serious shortcomings of local regulations and management measures.
Chance of the calendar, the alert from the daily Le Monde came the day after the publication of a Tribune signed by no less than 80 associations, including UFC-Que Choisir , calling on behalf of the precautionary principle and the interest higher than environmental health, to an exit from pesticides and more generally to an agricultural transition towards a model that is more respectful of the environment, more resilient.
The collective challenged the Prime Minister and all parliamentarians to finally take up the subject. Because we won’t be able to tell our children that we didn’t know !
For guaranteed tap water without pesticides!
Published on: 04/19/2021
While only 206 pesticides are searched for on average in drinking water, knowing that there are more than 750 in nature, we ask the Ministry of Health to guarantee tap water without pesticides by significantly increasing the search for these harmful substances.
For guaranteed tap water without pesticides!
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Our goal is to 100,000 signatures.
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More than 750 different molecules of pesticides in nature
Pesticides are the leading cause in France of exceeding the quality standards defined for tap water. But while more than 750 different molecules of pesticides and their derivatives are likely to be found in drinking water, only 206 are sought on average on French territory as part of the official analyzes carried out on behalf of the Regional Health Agencies. (ARS).
Only 12 pesticides searched on average in the Aisne against 609 in the Var!
But this average figure hides huge local disparities, in fact, the list of molecules sought is defined by each ARS, according to local specificities, particularly agricultural. Our survey of official analyzes reveals that for nearly twenty departments, the spectrum of analyzes is clearly insufficient to guarantee consumers the absence of pesticides beyond the authorized levels. It is the department of Aisne which is distinguished by the lowest number of substances searched for with only 12 molecules on average, ie 50 times less than in the Var which searches for 609!
Water with pesticides drunk by 450,000 consumers… or maybe many more
While nearly 450,000 consumers drink water that does not comply with this criterion, the very low number of pesticide molecules sought in many French departments raises fears that this proportion is in fact much higher.
In order to guarantee truly pesticide-free water and limit consumer exposure to these particularly harmful molecules, we ask the Ministry of Health to define the minimum number and nature of pesticides to be analyzed.
Drinking water quality is non-negotiable!
Sign the petition and pass it around, we need you!
Petition launched at the initiative of UFC-Que Choisir and Future Generations
Quality of tap water in France
The call (e) for help from the UFC-Que Choisir
Published on: 03/19/2012
- Pesticides and nitrates flood crops… but also tap water
- Agriculture: a repeat polluter
- Water treatment and natural contamination: adjustment faults at the margin…
In the aftermath of the World Water Forum in Marseille on access to aquatic resources and on the eve of World Water Day, UFC-Que Choisir is making public today a worrying analysis of the quality of tap water distributed in France ( 1) .
While 97.5% of French people have year-round access to good quality water, on the other hand nearly two million consumers pay for water that does not comply with regulatory criteria. The cocktail of the main pollutants detected (pesticides, nitrates, selenium) highlights the serious threats that agricultural pressure poses to the resource.
PESTICIDES AND NITRATES FLOOD CROPS… BUT ALSO TAP WATER
More than a million consumers receive water contaminated with pesticides, nitrates and selenium. The most affected departments are found in areas where agriculture is most intensive: Paris Basin (Eure-et-Loir, Loiret, Seine-et-Marne, Yonne), the North and Champagne (Pas-de-Calais , Marne, Aube).
AGRICULTURE: A RECIDIVIST POLLUTER
Far from being isolated, the problem of agricultural pollution is structural. The use of pesticides has not decreased in 10 years. The explanation is that the polluter-pays principle is reversed. While agriculture is the source of nitrate and pesticide pollution respectively for 74% and 90%, it is the consumers who bear the bulk of the bill (almost 90%) via the pollution charge. In the end, agricultural pollution generates additional annual expenditure on the water bill of at least between 640 and 1,140 million euros, or 7% to 12% of the water bill of French households ( 2 ) .
WATER TREATMENT AND NATURAL CONTAMINATION: ADJUSTMENT DEFECTS AT THE MARGIN…
Contamination linked to the lack of treatment (bacteriological quality, aluminium) and to natural contamination (radioactivity) are much less marked. Although they represent only 31% of water pollution, they nevertheless affect 1,500 municipalities and 500,000 consumers. The local associations of the UFC-Que Choisir, located in these sectors, therefore intervened with the mayors of the municipalities concerned to ask them to take, without delay, measures to inform consumers and to deal with non-compliances.
The issue of quality water is essential, both from the point of view of purchasing power and the environment. It must indeed be remembered that, compared to bottled water, tap water wins the game hands down. It is thus of equivalent quality, up to 130 times less expensive than its rival in plastic bottles and contributes almost a thousand times less to the greenhouse effect ( 3 ) .
The UFC-Que Choisir can no longer tolerate the use of palliative measures where polluted water is diluted with compliant water, nor encourage the headlong rush of drilling ever more catchments. In order for agricultural pollution to be stopped at the source, UFC-Que Choisir asks national and European public authorities:
– Effective protection of all catchments;
– An application of the constitutional polluter-pays principle in the field of agricultural pollution to deter polluting agricultural practices;
– That aid from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) be reserved for production methods inspired by the principles of integrated and organic farming.
In any case, determined to inform consumers about the quality of their tap water and good habits in terms of drinking water, the association has made available on its website the results, commune by commune, of its readings .