Significant levels of dioxane have been found in the drinking water of 9 French regions. This substance is suspected of being carcinogenic.
Do we really know what we drink with tap water? This one is filtered, treated, but nevertheless certain dangerous substances can still slip there. This was already denounced in April 2023 by the national food safety agency, ANSES. The agency then sounded the alarm about significant levels of pollutants in drinking water, including pesticides from agriculture. Following this report, new examinations were carried out in order to detect a substance which is beginning to be talked about: 1,4-dioxane. In the 586 samples taken by ANSES8% of them contained traces of this product.
Generally used in paints, industrial solvents or as a cleaning agent, this substance is now classified as a possible carcinogen in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This classification means in the case of 1,4-dioxane that the molecule is proven carcinogenic in animals, and that tests are still to be carried out to demonstrate this effect on humans. Samples containing the substance, sometimes in large quantities, were taken in nine French regions:
- France’s Island,
- the Centre-Loire Valley,
- the Great East,
- New Aquitaine,
- the Pays de la Loire,
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A particularly worrying contamination in the Yvelines
The concentration record is held by Yvelines, with nearly 4.8 µg /L. A concentration which does not exceed that set by the WHO in terms of potability (50 µg / L) but which could have long-term effects. In Germany, a limit of 0.1 µg/L has been established, while in France none have been implemented. This lack at the legislative level can be understood by a lack of research and knowledge of the issue in the French scientific community.
However, the ARS (Regional Health Agency) wants to be reassuring for the French people who live in the areas concerned. In a press release, it states that “the water distributed in the municipalities concerned is of good quality for the parameters analyzed within the framework of the regulatory health control and taking into account current scientific knowledge.”