Is the tap water of good quality? To help the general public verify the drinking water quality distributed in the municipalities and their surroundings, the UFC-Que Choisir comes from provide an interactive map summarizing the level of compliance for 50 contaminants and physicochemical parameters (lead, copper, nickel, vinyl chloride, etc.) defined by the regulations. If this 4th edition of the interactive tap water map confirms that most French people receive water that meets regulatory criteria, it highlights the serious shortcomings of regulations and local management measures regarding pesticides and endocrine disruptors.
A petition launched for guaranteed tap water without pesticides
This is why the UFC-Que Choisir and the NGO Générations Futures have joined forces to demand a ban on pesticides suspected of being endocrine disruptors, as well as a strengthening by the Ministry of Health of testing requirements in this area. And this via a petition available online with this order mode: the quality of drinking water is not negotiable. The study shows that tap water compliance regulatory criteria has improved significantly: 98% of consumers have access to water that meets all health criteria, an increase of more than 2 points compared to the previous study in 2017.
Over 750 different pesticide molecules in nature
The fact remains that, as the UFC-Que Choisir reminds us, “the pesticides represent the first cause of exceeding quality standards defined for tap water ”. The organization believes that “if we look for them we find them. “ His study reveals that nearly a million consumers, especially in rural areas, still receive non-compliant water. The agricultural pollution is the leading cause of contamination: 450,000 consumers drink water that exceeds the maximum pesticide standards and 148,000 water contaminated by nitrates. The other contaminations (arsenic, radioactivity, selenium, etc.) remain more limited and affect smaller proportions of consumers.
The work of UFC-Que Choisir and Générations Futures thus points to the limits of official analyzes. “While more than 750 different molecules of pesticides and their derivatives are likely to end up in drinking water, only 206 are sought after on average, with unacceptable local disparities, ”they explain. Indeed, the list of molecules sought is defined by each Regional Health Agency (ARS) according to local specificities, particularly agricultural ones. The survey reveals that for nearly twenty departments, the spectrum of analyzes is clearly insufficient to guarantee consumers the absence of pesticides beyond the authorized levels.
Suspected endocrine disrupting pesticides found in some analyzes
It’s the department of Aisne which is distinguished by the lowest number of substances sought with only 12 molecules on average, that is to say 50 times less than in the Var which seeks 609.large quantities of pesticides ”, deplores the UFC-Que Choisir. The body is intractable as to the presence of pesticides in tap water because some of them (organochlorines, fungicides, herbicides) are suspected of being endocrine disruptors (PE): substances capable of interfering with the hormonal system and which can have serious consequences on health even at very low doses.
In fact, the UFC-Que Choisir reveals the presence of pesticidessuspected of being PE in 28% on average of analyzes considered to comply with the regulations. The petition therefore asks the public authorities “to intensify research into pesticides in connection with the levels of risk and the types of surrounding crops”, as well as “to prohibit the marketing of pesticides suspected of being EP in application of the precautionary principle. »Still, in terms of price, quality and environmental impact, tap water takes precedence over bottled water, with the recommendations to let it run for a few moments, or to let it air out in an open carafe, before drinking it.