The Greens / European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament released the results Wednesday of a unique long-term exposure ‘pesticides in hair’ testing project, initiated by The Detox Project and Kudzu Science.
148 hair samples were collected from six EU countries: Germany, Denmark, Wales, Italy, France and Belgium between the end of July and October 2018. The samples were then analysed for a selection of 30 pesticides including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.
The results showed that 15 of the 30 ubiquitous pesticides tested for were found in at least one of the samples, with 60% of the samples containing at least one pesticide.
Fipronil (insecticide), Propiconazole (fungicide), Permethrin (insecticide) and Chlorpyrifos-Ethyl (insecticide), were all found in more than 10% of the samples.
Wales was the country with the highest pesticide levels, with 84% of samples testing positive for at least one pesticide and Germany had the least exposure with 44% of samples testing positive for at least one pesticide. Belgium meanwhile had the most exposure to multiple pesticides with up to 4 of the pesticides tested for being found in some samples.
Co-chair of Greens/Efa in the European Parliament, Ska Keller, Tweeted: “More than 60% of tested hair probes contained at least one #pesticide with #fipronil being the most common one. We need stricter rules on pesticide use in agriculture now!”
The Detox Project Director, Henry Rowlands, stated Wednesday; “This is the first testing project to show how people in the European Union are exposed to pesticides over the long-term. Hair testing now enables us to find out much more than urine and blood testing, which only show our short-term exposure. The results are deeply concerning and should lead to changes in the way pesticides are regulated in Europe.”