Chlorothalonil residues in Henniez water –

Mineral waters sold in Switzerland are not perfectly pure. A test carried out by the RTS reveals the presence of plastic particles, PFAS-type pollutants and pesticides in certain bottles.

“Natural mineral water must be distinguished (…) by its original purity”. This is what the Federal Ordinance on Mineral Water stipulates. But is this really the case? To find out, the RTS broadcasts A Bon Entendeur and On En Parle had the content of around ten mineral waters purchased in Switzerland analyzed. The waters were tested in two different laboratories, which looked for traces of plastic, PFAS-type pollutants and pesticides – including chlorothalonil.

Result: Henniez, Valser, Swiss Alpina and San Pellegrino contained pollutants (see table below), or four out of ten. However, no problematic substances have been identified in Aproz, Rhäzünser, Cristallo, Evian, Saskia and Denner mineral water.


Chlorothalonil detected in Nestlé water

The most striking case is that of Henniez water in which metabolites of two pesticides were detected, chloridazone but also chlorothalonil, a highly controversial product. This fungicide, used in particular in the cultivation of cereals, potatoes and vines, was in fact classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the European Union in 2019, which subsequently banned it. Switzerland followed suit before being blocked by appeals from Syngenta, producer of the substance (read framed).

>> See the 7:30 p.m. topic:

An investigation by ABE and We talk about it reveals that the mineral waters of Henniez contain pesticides / 7:30 p.m. / 2 min. / yesterday at 7:30 p.m.

When questioned, Nestlé Waters, owner of Henniez, did not respond to RTS’s specific questions but affirmed that “Henniez natural mineral water is safe to consume.” The multinational also claims to meet regulatory requirements and specifies that “the small traces of undesirable residue found in Henniez natural mineral water are similar to a drop in a 2.5 million liter Olympic swimming pool”.

As a reminder, the Henniez plant found itself at the heart of a scandal at the start of the year, after Le Temps revealed that the water had been illicitly filtered for years before being put into operation. bottle. Four years ago, analyzes carried out on behalf of On en parole and A bon oreille had not detected any pesticide residues in Henniez water. But Nestlé Waters refuses to say whether its illicit filtration system made it possible to treat this type of pollution.

>> Also read: Henniez scandal: Nestlé Waters had initially requested a “derogation” from the Confederation

PFAS in water Waltz

Valser water contained traces of PFAS, these pollutants that are considered eternal because of their persistence in the environment and which can be linked to various health problems. Coca-Cola, owner of the Graubünden Source, sees this as a reflection of “the broader environmental impact of human activities” and also wants to be reassuring: “We would like to assure you that the quantities of substances detected are not only minimal, but also significantly lower than the safety thresholds set for drinking water and agricultural products, and therefore pose no health risk.

Finally, plastic residues were found in bottles of San Pellegrino (Nestlé Waters) and Swiss Alpina (Coop). More precisely PET in Italian water and polystyrene in Swiss water. Analysis results contested by the two brands which ensure that their own controls do not give the same results.

“The first feeling is a form of deception and disappointment,” reacts Céline Vara, environmentalist state advisor (NE). “We pay for mineral water that we think is free of toxic products and that generates legitimate anger because we really have the impression of being deceived. And then there is the problem of public health: we know that these products create diseases, cancers, infertility and ultimately, this is proof of the ecological disaster we are experiencing today.”

Questioned in the program We’re talking about it, Geneva cantonal chemist Patrick Edder puts things into perspective: “The maximum values ​​set for pesticides, particularly in water, are not values ​​that have been set in relation to toxicology, but by principle These values ​​are already very protective.

>> Linda Bourget’s explanations in the 7:30 p.m.

Explanations from Linda Bourget, producer of the ABE show, on the revelations concerning the presence of pesticides in Henniez brand mineral waters
Explanations from Linda Bourget, producer of the ABE show, on the revelations concerning the presence of pesticides in Henniez brand mineral waters / 7:30 p.m. / 2 min. / yesterday at 7:30 p.m.

What about tap water?

The program We talk about it visited the village of Henniez, in Broye, in March 2024. With a sterile bottle, a sample of tap water was taken from a resident, then sent to a laboratory . Result: this water contains the same substances (metabolites from chlorothalonil and chloridazon) as bottled water, but in higher quantities.

>> Also read: PFAS found in almost half of tap water samples in Switzerland

Patrick Edder is cautious about these samples. “If there were to be fluctuations in the chlorothalonil levels and they were increasing, this water could well become non-compliant with the regulations, like that of many other municipalities on the Swiss Plateau. We are awaiting the directives of the OSAV It is only in the very long term that the consumption of these substances could present a risk. The water will remain consumable, but the supplier will be asked to look for solutions to reduce the concentrations of pesticides in this. network water, either by drawing from other sources, or by interconnecting with the networks of other municipalities where the water is less contaminated.”

More generally, for the Geneva cantonal chemist, water resources “must be protected”. Without this, groundwater treatment could become necessary to guarantee the quality of drinking water, as is the case for surface water.

>> Also listen to the explanations from On en parole:

Pesticides in Henniez mineral water / We’re talking about it / 14 min. / today at 08:35

Bastien von Wyss, Mathieu Truffer, Stéphane Fontanet, Elisa Casciaro, Linda Bourget



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