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Analysis of surface water reveals land pesticide contamination: An application for the determination of chlordecone-polluted areas in Guadeloupe, French West Indies

Rochette R., Bonnal V., Andrieux P., Cattan P.. 2020. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27 (33) : p. 41132-41142.

In Guadeloupe, the use between 1972 and 1993 of chlordecone, an organochlorine insecticide, has permanently contaminated the island's soil, thus contaminating the food chain at its very beginning. There is today a strong societal requirement for an improved mapping of the contaminated zones. Given the extent of the areas to be covered, carrying out soil tests on each plot of the territory would be a long and expensive process. In this article, we explore a method of demarcating polluted areas. The approach adopted consists in carrying out, using surface water analyses, a hydrological delimitation that makes it possible to distinguish contaminated watersheds from uncontaminated ones. The selection of sampling points was based on the spatial analysis of the actual and potential contamination data existing at the beginning of the study. The approach was validated by soil analyses, after having compared the contamination data of the watersheds with the soil contamination data of the plots within them. The study thus made it possible to highlight new contaminated areas and also those at risk of contamination and to identify the plots to be targeted as a priority during future analysis campaigns by State services.

Mots-clés : contamination chimique; chlordécone; pollution par l'agriculture; pollution de l'eau; eau superficielle; analyse de l'eau; pollution du sol; persistance des pesticides; guadeloupe

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