the worrying pollution of a stream forces a market gardener to stop his activity

the worrying pollution of a stream forces a market gardener to stop his activity
the worrying pollution of a stream forces a market gardener to stop his activity

Near Langres in Haute-Marne, worrying quantities of carcinogenic substances have been detected in the Le Julien stream. A market gardener was forced to stop his activity. The association which requested these measures also fears for the quality of the air and the health of residents.

It was a little corner of greenery, apparently ideal for growing fruits and vegetables. The kind of countryside of which Haute-Marne has the secret. Daniel Thévenard saw this space near Langres as a little paradise for planting his market gardening business. He bought the land in 2010, but very quickly realized that something was wrong: “We moved in with my wife and quickly realized that the land was polluted.he remembers. Firefighters tried to contain this pollution, but to no avail..”

Safer, an organization allowing any project leader to settle in a rural area, wrote to Daniel Thévenard immediately. Since then, he can no longer produce and especially sell his fruits and vegetables. “We could poison the population, and it’s still annoying“, he regrets.

The couple has been at an impasse for more than ten years. But who is responsible for this pollution? Daniel Thévenard points to the factories behind his land, which could contaminate the Le Julien stream, a tributary of the Marne.

The “SOS Pays de Langres” association warned of this pollution and requested that measures be taken. The results show a worrying situation, with a high level of pollution from hydrocarbons but especially from certain eternal pollutants, in particular PFAS, used in various industrial fields such as textiles, food packaging or even non-stick coatings and phytosanitary products.

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Significant quantities of carcinogenic substances have been found in the water of Le Julien stream.

© FTV / Joffrey Tridon

In this family of PFAS, PFOA is of particular concern. The European Union speaks of a “substance of extreme concern”. However, significant traces of PFOA have been detected in the Le Julien stream. They even far exceed the alert threshold of scientists. A situation which is likely to persist.

They are called “eternal pollutants” because they will take hundreds of years to disintegrate: these molecules were designed by Man, they are not natural. They are difficult to degrade. It will take 200 to 300 years.

Régis Rouillot, SOS Pays de Langres association

These substances are persistent and potentially dangerous for humans. At the end of 2023, the International Agency for Research on Cancer placed PFOA on the list of carcinogenic substances.

According to the SOS Pays de Langres association, the Le Julien stream is only the submerged part of the iceberg. Could the air be contaminated too? This is the fear of its president.

We analyzed eggs from a private farm 800 meters from hereexplains Régis Rouillot. The chickens do not drink the water from the stream, but they are in the open air and they peck at the ground. However, the eggs were contaminated.”

This air is also the air that residents of the surrounding factories breathe. The association therefore launched a study based on fifty volunteers, from industrial and residential areas, to assess the impact of this pollution on residents.

At the same time, two prefectural decrees have been calling since last week on the factories in question to limit their release of toxic substances. None of the companies concerned have yet responded to interview requests from our teams.

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