Pesticide Testing in the Home

Published in Poisons Beware

Results from testing a dust sample taken from a house in Svirče on Hvar on June 22nd 2021.

Vineyard outside the house. Vineyard outside the house. Photo: Vivian Grisogono
The dust test was conducted as part of the European Citizens' Initiative petition 'Save the Bees and Farmers', organized by PAN Europe.
1. 21 samples were collected in 21 Member States (MSs) in intensive agriculture environment, less than 100m to agricultural areas.
2. Top 5 EU countries in terms of number of quantified pesticides: BE-IT-AT-NL-CZ
3. Top 5 EU countries in terms of cumulative quantities of pesticides: DK-ES-LT-IT-IE.
4. Pesticides have been found in all 21 MSs (from 1 in Malta to 23 in Belgium)
5. Suspected carcinogens, endocrine disruptors (acting at very low doses) and reprotoxic substances have been found
6. It is the first time such a study has been carried out throughout the EU.The results are not representative of the situation in each country: they are a snapshot of the situation in a single location in the country. Nevertheless, this study highlights that people are exposed, on a daily base, to different pesticides, in variable amounts in their homes. Dust can be found everywhere: in our beds, on the floor where our babies are crawling, etc. ...even in countries where few pesticides have been found (Malta, Luxembourg or Germany for instance), worrying pesticides are identified.
7. <LQ means "lower than the limit of quantification": the substance has been detected but it is too low to be quantified. It does not mean it is irrelevant as for many chemicals, there is no safe limit (e.g. carcinogenic or endocrine disrupting substances).
Pendimethalin 10,5; Boscalid 104; Chlorotoluron <1Q; Cyprodnil <1Q; Fluopyram <1Q; Pyraclostrobin 269; Spiroxamine <1Q; Trifoxystrobin <1Q
Details of the substances:
PENDIMETHALIN substance group dimitroaniline - herbicide
EU: approved 01/09/2017-30/11/2024.
Possible adverse effects: very toxic to aquatic life, with long-lasting effects; highly toxic to freshwater fish, marine organisms; moderately toxic to earthworms; slightly toxic to birds; possible carcinogen (USEPA); reproduction/developmental effects, suspected endocrine disruptor; thyroid and liver toxicant; can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting; skin sensitizer; skin and eye irritant; can irritate nose & throat; bioaccumulates.
Products: Croatia FIS: June 2023, 6 approved products, 4 based on pendimethalin alone, 2 in combinations: 949 Dost 330 EC approved 01/09/2016-01/09/2024; 982 Sharpen 330 EC approved 16/06/2016-01/09/2024; 983 Pendus 330 EC approved 28/06/2016-01/09/2024; 1498 Penter (pendimethalin, terbuthylazine) approved 10/08/2022-30/11/2025; 1516 Bismark (pendimethalin, clomazone) approved 06/04/2022-31/10/2023. 1547 Stomp Aqua approved 27/02/2023-30/11/2025. Registration withdrawn: 806 Wing P (pendimethalin, dimethenamid-P) approval 24/02/2015-01/03/2022, final deadline 01/09/2023; 913 "Stomp Aqua", approval 22/10/2015-27/02/2023 ended, final deadline 27/08/2024
BOSCALID substance group carboxamide - fungicide
EU: Approved 01/08/2008 - 15/04/2026
Possible adverse effects: toxic to aquatic organisms and the aquatic environment, with long-lasting effects; moderately toxic to fish, birds and earthworms; may affect foraging capacity in honeybees; in humans: possible carcinogen; possible effects on reproduction and development
Products June 2023: Croatia FIS: 8 products approved, 2 based on boscalid alone, 6 in combination with other active ingredients: 66 Bellis (boscalid, pyraclostrobin), approved 04/01/2008-31/12/2023; 110 Cantus, approved 09/12/2004-31/12/2023; 494 Pictor (boscalid, dimoxystrobin), approved 29/12/2006-31/12/2023; 616 Signum (boscalid, pyraclostrobin), approved 29/12/2006-31/12/2023; 1142 Collis (boscalid, kresoxyim-methyl), approved 05/02/2018-31/07/2028; 1479 Pictor Active (boscalid, pyraclostrobin), approved 09/06/2022-31/01/2024; 1486 Loyalty approved 21/06/2022-31/07/2024; 1532 Empartis (boscalid, kresoxim-methyl), approved 13/12/2022-31/07/2024:
CHLOROTOLURON Substance group urea - herbicide
EU approved 01/03/2006-31/10/2023
Possible adverse effects: very toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects; moderately toxic to birds and honeybees; suspected carcinogen; suspected reproductive toxicity, causing harm to the unborn child
Products: Croatia FIS, June 2023, 3 approved products, 1 based on chlorotoluron alone, 2 in combinations: 771 Tornado Forte (chlorotoluron, diflufenican) approved 03/05/2015-31/12/2023; 928 Tolurex 50 SC, (chlorotoluron) approved 25/09/2015-31/10/2023; 1216 Legacy Plus (chlorotoluron, diflufenican) approved 15/04/2019-31/12/2023:
CYPRODINIL fungicide substance group: anilinopyrimidine (candidate for substitution)
EU 01/05/2007-15/03/2025
Possible adverse effects: Highly toxic to the aquatic environment, with long-lasting effects; Highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates; Toxic to fish; Moderately toxic to birds and earthworms; in humans: possible reproduction and development effects; can cause allaergic reactions in skin; irritant to respiratory tract, eyes, skin; skin sensitizer
Products: Croatia FIS: June 2023, 3 products, 2 based on cyprodinil alone,1 in combination: 126 Chorus 75 WG, approved 06/09/2005-31/12/2023; 646 Switch 62,5 WG (cyprodinil, fludioxonil), approved 07/02/2007-31/12/2023; 790 Chorus 50 WG, approved 27/07/2012-30/04/2024
FLUOPYRAM, substance group benzamide, pyramide - fungicide
EU: Approved 01/02/2014 - 31/01/2024.
Possible adverse effects: very toxic to fish, aquatic plants and algae, with long-lasting effects; slightly toxic to bees, birds, earthworms; in humans, can cause serious eye irritation; possibly causes damage to nervous system; affects reproduction, possibly damages the unborn child
Products: Croatia FIS June 2023, 7 approved products, 2 based on fluopyram alone, 5 in combinations: 858 Luna Experience (fluopyram, tebuconazole), approved 19/01/2015-31/08/2024; 859 Luna Privilege, approved 09/02/2015-31/01/2025; 945 Velum Prime, approved 04/02/2016-31/01/2025; 974 Propulse (fluopyram, protioconazole), approved 30/05/2016-31/07/2024; 1111 Ascra Xpro (fluopyram, bixafen, protioconazole), approved 01/12/2017-31/07/2024; 1240 Luna Sensation (fluopyram, trifloxystrobin), approved 09/07/2019-31/01/2025; 1289 Luna Care (fluopyram, fosetyl), approved 23/04/2020-30/04/2024
PYRACLOSTROBIN Substance group strobilurin. fungicide
EU: approved 01/06/2004-31/01/2024
Possible adverse effects: Highly toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates; highly toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects; moderately toxic to birds, earthworms, bumblebees and certain other types of bee; in humans: can be fatal if swallowed and enters the respiratory system; toxic if inhaled; reproductive / development effects; irritant to respiratory tract and skin; highly irritant to the eyes
Products: Croatia FIS, June 2023, 10 approved products, 3 based on pyraclostrobin alone, 7 in combination: 66 Bellis (boscalid, pyraclostrobin), approved 04/01/2008-31/12/2023; 101 Cabrio Top (pyraclostrobin, metiram) approved 07/04/2011-31/01/2024; 616 Signum (boscalid, pyraclostrobin), approved 29/12/2006-31/12/2023; 901 Retengo (pyraclostrobin), approved 23/08/2015-31/01/2024; 1103 Priaxor EC (fluxapyroxad, pyraclostrobin), approved 24/10/2017-31/01/2024; 1356 Revycare (pyraclostrobin), approved 23/09/2015-31/01/2024; 1462 Architect (pyraclostrobin, mepiquat, prohexadione) approved 29/03/2022-31/12/2024; 1469 Mizona (fluxapyroxad, pyraclostrobin), approved 06/05/2022-31/01/2024; 1479 Pictor Active (boscalid, pyraclostrobin), approved 09/06/2022-31/01/2024; 1519 Insignia (pyraclostrobin), approved 03/11/2022-31/01/2024. 1038 Tercel (dithianon, pyraclostrobin), approval (01/09/2017-31/01/2022) ended, final deadline 31/07/2023; Cabrio Team not approved
SPIROXAMINE (Substance group morpholine). - fungicide
EU: Approved 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2023.
Possible adverse effects: very toxic to aquatic life; in humans, suspected of causing damage to the unborn child; may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure; harmful if swallowed or inhaled; can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions;
Products: Croatia FIS June 2023 2023, 6 approved products, 2 based on spiroxamine alone, 4 in combinations: 960 Spirox (spiroxamine), approved 04/04/2016-31/12/2024; 1204 Falcon Forte (spiroxamine, prothioconazole, tebuconazole) approved 20/03/2019- 31/08/2028; 1324 Prosper CS 300 (spiroxamine), approved 23/11/2020-31/12/2024; 1419 Delaro Forte (spiroxamine, prothioconazole, trifloxystrobin) approved 06/12/2021-31/12/2024; 1431 Cayunis (spiroxamine, trifloxystrobin, bixafen) approved 23/12/2021-31/12/2024; 1439 Prosaro Plus (spiroxamine, prothioconazole) approved 17/02/2022-31/07/2027. Falcon EC 460 approval withdrawn 31/08/2020, previously approved 10/02/2006-31/08/2020
TRIFLOXYSTROBIN Substance group: strobilurin - fungicide
EU: approved 01/08/2018-312/07/2033
Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates and algae; highly toxic to the aquatic environment with long-lasting effects; moderately toxic to birds and earthworms; in humans: reproduction / development effects, possibly harms unborn child; probable liver and teste toxicant; skin sensitizer, can cause allaergic reactions in the skin
Products: Croatia FIS June 2023: 6 approved products, 1 based on trifloxystrobin alone, 5 in combinations: 450 Nativo 75 WG (tebuconazole, trifloxystrobin) approved 06/03/2008-31/12/2023; 723 Zato Plus (captan, trifloxystrobin), approved 21/01/2008-31/12/2023; 765 Zato 50 WG, approved 04/07/2012-04/07/2024; 1240 Luna Sensation (fluopyram, trifloxystrobin), approved 09/07/2019-31/01/2025; 1419 Delaro Forte (prothioconazole, spiroxamine, trifloxystrobin) approved 06/12/2021-31/12/2024; 1431 Cayunis (trifloxystrobin, spiroxamine, bixafen) approved 23/12/2021-31/12/2024. Fandango EC200 not approved
THIS RESEARCH was carried out as part of the European petition 'Save the bees and farmers'. In the 'YOOTEST' laboratory in France, dust samples were tested from houses near cultivated fields in 21 countries from the European Union. Only 30 pesticides were tested, of which 18 were herbicides, 11 were fungicides and one was an insecticide. They did not include glyphosate (the active ingredient in Cidokor / Roundup and many other herbicides often used on Hvar and in Croatia). So the results, while very concerning, are limited and would certainly have been much worse if they had included more of the commonly used toxic substances.
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