Des pesticides et métabolites dans l'eau du robinet dans nos contrées ? - ÖKO EUROPE

Pesticides and metabolites in our tap water?

What can be found in the tap water at Limal in Wallonia?

It was with this question in mind that we commissioned the laboratoire EUROFINS | EURACETA (Laboratoire d'Analyses et de Contrôles Environnementaux, Toxicologiques & Agro-alimentaires) on July 4, 2023 to analyze conventional drinking water.

Of course, we wanted to go a step further and find out if the answer we provide with our ÖKO EUROPE filter eliminates any contaminants.

Results of Limal tap water analyses before and after filtration

You can find full details of the study on the Technology & Analysis page on our site with a dedicated insert, as well as the detailed document provided by the laboratory.

Here are the various contaminants that were present in unexpected doses:

  • The Desethyl-atrazine: Herbicide decomposed from atrazine banned in Europe since 2004;
  • The 2,6-Dichlorobenzamide: Degradation of dichlobenil, a herbicide used extensively until June 2009, when it was banned due to its presence in large quantities in groundwater;
  • The Chlorthalonil M 12 : Chlorothalonil is a fungicide re-approved from 2006 to 2018. Yet it is classified as acute toxicity category 2 (fatal by inhalation), skin sensitization category 1 (may cause skin allergy), serious eye damage category 1 (causes severe eye damage), respiratory tract irritation category 3, Carcinogenicity category 2 (likely to cause cancer) and danger to the aquatic environment category 1 (very toxic to aquatic organisms);
  • The Metolachlor ethanesulfonic acid: S-metolachlor is the most widely used herbicide substance in France in 2023 and a ban is being put in place;
  • The Chloridazone-methyl-desphenyl: Chloridazone is a pesticide that was mainly used in beet cultivation until December 2020;
  • The Metazachlor ethanesulfonic acid : Degradation of the aforementioned S-metolachlor;
  • The Metolachlor NOA 413173 : Derivative of S-metolachlor also whose toxicity is under study;

Below the complete result before and after filtration:

Résultats étude Limal 2023 : Contaminants dans l'eau du robinet - avant / après filtration

These molecules are also present in tap water in France and Europe.

  • SUD OUEST article on ATRAZINE to be read here:

Atrazine, a herbicide widely used in agriculture for almost 50 years, particularly in corn crops and which was banned in France in 2001, has been detected in Trentels in Lot-et-Garonne at a concentration above established standards.

A derogation increased the acceptable threshold to 0.60 µg/l, compared with the initial threshold of 0.1 µg/l (and the WHO threshold set at 2 µg/l).

  • Article from France 3 Bourgogne Franche-comté on pesticide residues including dichlobenil to read here :

The association Générations Futures published a study on June 17, 2020, raising concerns about the amount of pesticide residues in tap water in Haute-Saône. These residues include endocrine disruptors and substances with carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic properties.

In 2019, 333 pesticide residues were identified in the department's water from 258 samples taken by the Regional Health Agency. What's more, 123 of the compounds identified are no longer authorized in France or the EU.

The association considers these results alarming and calls for a transition to synthetic pesticide-free agriculture.

  • Article from, government information site on chlorothalonil, to be read here :

Residues of the fungicide chlorothalonil, banned in France since May 2020, have been detected in drinking water according to a report by the French National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses) published on April 6, 2023.

On the basis of 136,000 analysis results from catchment points supplying 20% of the water distributed in France, the report highlighted the presence of seven molecules exceeding the water quality limit set at 0.1 µg/liter. Chlorothalonil R471811, a degradation product of chlorothalonil, is the most frequently found compound. It appears in more than half the samples taken, and a third of these exceed the regulatory limit.

This molecule appears to be ubiquitous in both surface and groundwater, suggesting persistence of chlorothalonil degradation products, even after its ban. Although concentrations are below toxic levels, this contamination also affects some bottled waters.

The situation is worrying, as the technologies needed to remove this metabolite from water are both energy-intensive and costly. This poses a particular challenge for smaller water treatment plants. As a result, the cost of the necessary improvements could well be passed on to the consumer in the price of water.

  • West France article on S-metachlor, to read here :

The European Commission decided on May 5, 2023 to renew the authorization of the herbicide S-metolachlor (third most widely used herbicide in France), on the market until November 15, 2024. This decision comes despite the fact that the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) had recommended against re-authorizing this herbicide in February due to environmental concerns, and that the Anses has banned its use in France on April 20, 2023.

Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau has sparked controversy by calling for a "reassessment" of the ban, wanting to bring the French position into line with that of the EU. Despite the debate, the herbicide remains banned in France, with a grace period allowing the sale of products containing S-metolachlor until October 20, 2023, and the use of stocks until October 20, 2024.

  • Article from France 3 Normandie about Chlorizadone, to read here :

Anomalously high levels of Chlorizadone have been observed in France, particularly in Calvados. In this region, drinking water is mainly extracted from groundwater, which currently contains up to 400 different pesticide residues, including the recently identified Chloridazone.

Emergency changes were made to stay below the 3 micrograms per liter threshold.


For all practical purposes, we remind you that these molecules are effectively filtered by the ÖKO EUROPE flask.

We therefore remain convinced that the use of a filtration system like that of the ÖKO EUROPE filter gourd is necessary before drinking tap water and in order to remain in excellent health.

Feel free to share this study with your friends and family.

Aquatically well,