Pesticide contamination of the coastline of Martinique

In January and February 2002, the presence of certain agricultural pesticides throughout the coastline of the Caribbean island of Martinique was investigated. The tropical climate of the French West Indies is suitable for banana production, which requires intensive use of pesticides. An inventory of all pesticides used on the island (compounds and tonnage) was compiled. Surveys and analyses revealed the presence of pesticides in the plumes of seven rivers. The organochlorine chlordecone and metabolites of aldicarb were detected at nearly all of the monitored sites, even though the use of chlordecone has been prohibited since 1993. Two triazines (ametryn and simazine) were also identified. The concentrations of carbamates and triazines detected in the water and sediment samples from Martinique are comparable to those reported for mainland France. Chlordecone concentrations in the sediment and particulate matter samples were, however, particularly high in the samples from Martinique. Toxicological implications are discussed. Of particular concern are the high levels of chlordecone (which is bioaccumulating and carcinogenic) and further monitoring of this compound is recommended, especially in fish and other sea-food products.


Aldicarb, Chlordecone, Triazines, Pesticides, Contamination, Martinique Island

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Bocquene Gilles, Franco Alain (2005). Pesticide contamination of the coastline of Martinique. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 51 (5-7). 612-619.,

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