Evidence of chlordecone resurrection by Glyphosate in French West Indies

Sabatier Pierre, Mottes Charles, Cottin Nathalie, Evrard Olivier, Comte Irina, Piot Christine, Gay Bastien, Arnaud Fabien, Lefèvre Irène, Develle Anne-Lise, Deffontaines Landry, Plet Joanne, Lesueur-Jannoyer Magalie, Poulenard Jérôme. 2021. Evidence of chlordecone resurrection by Glyphosate in French West Indies. Environmental Science and Technology, 55 (4) : pp. 2296-2306.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie

Abstract : The widespread use of pesticides in agriculture during the last several decades has contaminated soils and different Critical Zone (CZ) compartments, defined as the area extended from the top of the vegetation canopy to the groundwater table, and it integrates interactions of the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere. However, the long-term fate, storage, and transfer dynamics of persistent pesticides in CZ in a changing world remain poorly understood. In the French West Indies, chlordecone (CLD), a toxic organochlorine insecticide, was extensively applied to banana fields to control banana weevil from 1972 to 1993 after which it was banned. Here, to understand CZ trajectories we apply a retrospective observation based on marine sediment core analyses to monitor long-term CLD transfer, fate, and consequences in Guadeloupe and Martinique islands. Both CLD profiles show synchronous chronologies. We hypothesized that the use of glyphosate, a postemergence herbicide, from the late 1990s onward induced CZ modification with an increase in soil erosion and led to the release of the stable CLD stored in the soils of polluted fields. CLD fluxes drastically increased when glyphosate use began, leading to widespread ecosystem contamination. As glyphosate is used globally, ecotoxicological risk management strategies should consider how its application affects persistent pesticide storage in soils, transfer dynamics, and widespread contamination.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Persistance des pesticides, Chlordécone, Glyphosate, Pollution par l'agriculture, Pollution du sol, Érosion, Contamination chimique, Écotoxicologie

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Antilles françaises, Guadeloupe, Martinique

Mots-clés libres : Geological materials, Soils, Fluxes, Organophosphorus compounds, Pest control

Classification Agris : P02 - Pollution
H02 - Pesticides
P36 - Soil erosion, conservation and reclamation

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 4 (2019-) - Santé des plantes, des animaux et des écosystèmes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Sabatier Pierre, Université de Grenoble (FRA) - auteur correspondant
  • Mottes Charles, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (MTQ) ORCID: 0000-0003-0766-7855
  • Cottin Nathalie, Université de Grenoble (FRA)
  • Evrard Olivier, CNRS (FRA)
  • Piot Christine, Université de Grenoble (FRA)
  • Gay Bastien, Université de Grenoble (FRA)
  • Arnaud Fabien, Université de Grenoble (FRA)
  • Lefèvre Irène, CEA (FRA)
  • Develle Anne-Lise, Université de Grenoble (FRA)
  • Deffontaines Landry, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (MTQ)
  • Plet Joanne, Université de Montpellier (FRA)
  • Lesueur-Jannoyer Magalie, CIRAD-DGDRS (FRA)
  • Poulenard Jérôme, CNRS (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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