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Organochlorine (chlordecone) uptake by root vegetables

Clostre F., Letourmy P., Lesueur Jannoyer M.. 2015. Chemosphere, 118 : p. 96-102.

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.06.076

Chlordecone, an organochlorine insecticide, continues to pollute soils in the French West Indies. The main source of human exposure to this pollutant is food. Root vegetables, which are staple foods in tropical regions, can be highly contaminated and are thus a very effective lever for action to reduce consumer exposure. We analyzed chlordecone contamination in three root vegetables, yam, dasheen and sweet potato, which are among the main sources of chlordecone exposure in food in the French West Indies. All soil types do not have the same potential for the contamination of root vegetables, allophanic andosols being two to ten times less contaminating than non-allophanic nitisols and ferralsols. This difference was only partially explained by the higher OC content in allophanic soils. Dasheen corms were shown to accumulate more chlordecone than yam and sweet potato tubers. The physiological nature of the root vegetable may explain this difference. Our results are in good agreement with the hypothesis that chlordecone uptake by root vegetables is based on passive and diffusive processes and limited by transport and dilution during growth.

Mots-clés : chlordécone; pollution du sol; pollution par l'agriculture; légume racine; contamination chimique; persistance des pesticides; propriété physicochimique du sol; taro; patate douce; igname; colocasia esculenta; ipomoea batatas; dioscorea; antilles françaises; martinique; france

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