Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 29, pp 29633–29642 | Cite as

Chlordecone consumption estimated by sewage epidemiology approach for health policy assessment

  • Damien A. DevaultEmail author
  • Laurence Amalric
  • Sébastien Bristeau
Research Article


Chlordecone is an organochlorine insecticide that was intensively used in the French West Indies to control the black weevil Cosmopolites sordidus in bananas. Its usage, however, resulted in the widespread pollution of the environment with heavy sanitary and social consequences, leading to population exposure mainly through food. Time-consuming and costly programs have been used to tackle this problem, and this study proposes to use the emerging sewage epidemiology approach to evaluate the current situation and the effect of such programs. The results determine the maximal value of chlordecone consumption, and considering the detection limit of the analytical protocol, the wastewater was found to have undetectable amounts of chlordecone. This value confirms the efficiency of the population protection strategy provided by French sanitary and environmental authorities. It also bolsters the usage of sewage epidemiology in pesticide assessment and relativizes the chlordecone risk compared to other chemicals of lesser concern.


Kepone Back-calculation Population exposure French West Indies Martinique 



Admissible daily intake


Biochemical oxygen demand over 5 days








CLD isotope-labelled


Drug target residue


French West Indies


Gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometer


Limit of detection


No observed adverse effect level


Population equivalent






Wastewater treatment plant



The present study is part of the QUINQUEREME program funded by the Water Office of Martinique (Office de l’Eau), the Regional Health Agency of Martinique (Agence Régionale de Santé de Martinique), and Odyssi, which also supported the program through the kind involvement of its staff and site accompaniment.

The authors wish to thank the WWTP teams, Hervé Macarie, Marc W. Fariss, Yves Lévi and Sara Karolak for their support and review, Benoît Vittecoq and Anne-Lise Taïlame for their logistical support, and Victoria Grace (English Publications) for her English editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damien A. Devault
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laurence Amalric
    • 2
  • Sébastien Bristeau
    • 2
  1. 1.Public Health and Environment Laboratory, UMR 8079 Ecologie Systématique EvolutionUniv. Paris-Sud, CNRS, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-SaclayChatenay-MalabryFrance
  2. 2.Division LaboratoiresOrléansFrance

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