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children exposed to endocrine disrupting insecticides

Written By Krishna on Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 10:23 AM

The results of the first part of an inquiry by a French NGO, Generations Futures into everyday exposure to endocrine-disrupting pesticides was released on March 20, 2013. The findings of the inquiry is as under:

Endocrine disrupting pesticides: Endocrine disruptors are substances that are foreign to the human body and which can have harmful effects on the human organism or on that of his or her descendants by disturbing the hormone signalling system. These substances are most likely to have negative effects on the fetus and the young child. Numerous pesticides are proven, or strongly suspected, to be endocrine disruptors.

To demonstrate the urgency of preventative action on endocrine disrupting chemicals, Generations Futures has developed a series of reports based on analyses and in-depth surveys showing the omnipresence of many endocrine disrupting chemicals in our environment, which creates a very significant exposure for the population. This series of reports is called EXPPERT.

A targeted report: EXPPERT 1 shows that we are exposed on a daily basis to two families of endocrine disrupting (ED) insecticides: organophosphates and pyrethroids. This exposure may be through food (EXPPERT 1 addresses ED pesticide contamination of cereal-based products) but also through household insecticides, which may be impregnated in bedding and other textiles, used in the garden, or used for human or animal treatments (such as flea, tick and mite treatments).

·    Among the cereal-based food products, 75% of samples analysed contain pesticide residues - of which all contain one or several organophosphate or pyrethroid substances. 

·    Among the non-food products, 108 of the 181 commercially-available items studied in this report contained – at the time of the test – one or more organophosphate or pyrethroid substances.
Organophosphate and pyrethroid substances are suspected of disrupting the endocrine system.


The following list shows the products tested in the EXPPERT 1 enquiry and the endocrine disrupting pesticides and insecticides that they were found to contain.
Biscuits with fillings - Pirymiphos methyl and piperonyl  butoxide (PBO)
Chocolate cereal - Pirymiphos methyl and PBO
Soft bread – Cypermethrine, pirymiphos methyl and PBO
Brioches - Chlorpyrifos methyl, pirymiphos methyl and PBO
Croissants - chlorpyrifos methyl, pirymiphos methyl and PBO
Durum wheat pasta - chlorpyrifos methyl, pirymiphos methyl and PBO
Spray for houseplants against bugs – Pyrethrine and PBO
Anti-flea textile sprayBifenthrine
Anti-flea lotion - Malathion
Anti-moth tablets - PBO
“Natural” (sic) insecticide spray – Deltamethrine and cypermethrine
Anti-mite mattress treatment - Permethrine
“Essential oil” (sic) anti-mite tablets - Permethrine
Home insecticide powderDeltamethrine and PBO
Outdoor insect powder - Bifenthrine
Anti-tick and anti-mosquito dog collarDeltamethrine
Anti-parasite spray - Bioallethrine and PBO
Garden insecticidesDeltamethrine and Cypermethrine
“We need to act urgently – starting today – to reduce public exposure to endocrine disrupting substances as much as possible. The European Parliament has made this exact same call for action by adopting the Westlund report on the protection of public health from exposure to endocrine disruptors on 14 March 2013,” says Francois Veillerette, Generations Futures spokesperson.

“Our report allows a clear understanding of the ubiquitous exposure to endocrine disrupting insecticides. Its ultimate aim is to create awareness among our politicians of the urgency of preventative action in this area. We will officially present this report, and those that follow, to the committee working on the future national strategy on endocrine disruptors during a meeting on 22 March 2013 as well as to various relevant ministers. Our objective is to ensure that in future no human body or animal organism contains endocrine disrupting chemicals in order to protect the health of children yet to be born,” he concludes.

Note: Tests on the following products showed they contain residues of pesticides: Wholemeal flour BN biscuits with strawberry filling, Belvita breakfast biscuits, Chocapic cereal, Special K cereal, wholemeal bread from the supermarket Carrefour, Harris soft bread, Panzani spaghetti, Pasquier croissants, Doowap brioches with chocolate bits.

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