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Chlordecone exposure and adverse effects in French West Indies populations

Abstract : Chlordecone (Kepone) is an organochlorine insecticide that has been used as insecticide and fungicide. In the French West Indies, Guadeloupe and Martinique, it was intensively applied to banana fields from 1973 to 1993 to control root borers. This pesticide undergoes no significant biotic or abiotic degradation in the environment and is still present in soils where it was applied. It was only in 1999 that health and environmental authorities became aware of the extent of the chlordecone pollution of environmental media, including soils, waterways, and the food chain. Earlier observations and toxicological studies have demonstrated that chlordecone is a reproductive and developmental toxicant, neurotoxic and carcinogenic in rodents, and is an endocrine-disrupting chemical because of its estrogenic properties both in vitro and in vivo. Several surveys have confirmed that the French West Indian population continues to be exposed to this chemical though consumption of contaminated foodstuffs. Here, we report the findings of various epidemiological studies conducted in the French West Indies to assess the impact of environmental exposure to chlordecone on the health of the population.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 12:04:11 PM
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Luc Multigner, Philippe Kadhel, Florence Rouget, Pascal Blanchet, Sylvaine Cordier. Chlordecone exposure and adverse effects in French West Indies populations. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2016, 23 (1), pp.3-8. ⟨10.1007/s11356-015-4621-5⟩. ⟨hal-01150382⟩

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