Micropollutants infest our rivers

An official report draws up a worrying inventory of the contamination of waterways in France.

Micropollutants threaten the balance of our rivers. The impact of these substances, which potentially have a very harmful effect on the biodiversity of aquatic environments, even at very low doses, is closely monitored by the public authorities. The National Institute for the Industrial Environment and Risks (Ineris) and the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) published on Thursday the results of two studies carried out with the participation of water agencies between 2016 and 2018 on more 1,600 French rivers and water bodies.

Some 141 contaminants have been tracked down. Both products under regulatory supervision but also “Emerging pollutants of interest”, not yet studied on a large scale. As Azziz Assoumani, engineer at Ineris explains, “These are in particular surfactants that can be found for example in detergents, shampoos or shower gel(which allow a better emulsion of liquids, Editor’s note), biocides present in cosmetics

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