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article imageFrance to monitor air-borne farm chemicals

By AFP     Nov 28, 2017 in Environment

French air quality experts will begin monitoring the presence of air-borne pesticides and other chemicals at around 50 sites across France next year, their umbrella group ATMO France said Tuesday.

The pilot study targeting mainly chemicals used in agriculture will be launched in the spring under the auspices of France's two main environmental health and safety bodies.

"The goal is to evaluate the average exposure of the population to this ambient pollution and also to identify situations of over-exposure," ATMO France said in a statement.

The results of the study will be used to develop a more long-term monitoring strategy, it said.

Monitors will likely test for the pesticide fipronil, which was at the centre of a scare over contaminated eggs in several European countries last summer.

Only a few monitoring bodies are equipped to test for the presence in the air of the controversial herbicide glyphosate.

The European Union on Monday approved the use of glyphosate, which environmental activists say may cause cancer, for another five years.

Monitors have long signalled air pollution from fossil fuel emissions, but data on chemicals such as pesticides have not previously been collected in a consistent manner.

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