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In Mayenne, a mother with two tumours denounces the use of pesticides eight metres from her home

No less than 15 toxic substances were found in a strand of her hair, according to the France 3 investigation broadcast on Wednesday.

Pesticide spraying in a maize field
Pesticide spraying in a maize field in Mayenne (France)

When a maize field was established on the hill next to their home in Larchamp (Mayenne), this family did not expect their life to turn into a nightmare. "From the day this field was cultivated," testifies Catherine Fargeas, "it's landslides in the spring and therefore <bbb>slides of spraying products that arrive in my yard.</bb>"
It must be said that pesticides are used just eight metres from her home, where Catherine and her daughter have lived for twenty years. In 2013, the family inexplicably lost goats, rabbits and even a dog. Some time later, the family's young daughter fell ill with childhood polyarthritis.

A complaint of poisoning

The mother's health also deteriorated. A first tumour appeared, followed by thyroid problems and a second tumour. The doctors then evoke an environmental problem. When our confreres of France 3 have a strand of her hair analysed, 15 pesticides are detected by an independent laboratory. "It's a proven chronic toxicity profile," says the laboratory expert interviewed by France 3. Catherine Fargeas filed a complaint for poisoning.

Anti-pesticide decrees, local residents worried about seeing plant protection products applied just a few metres from their homes, farmers under attack, debate on the minimum distance to be respected... The issue of pesticides is causing more and more tension in France. If you too live near a field or a farm and are worried about the consequences of pesticides for your health, talk to franceinfo.