Share article:
Share article:

Study: 23 harmful pesticides in Belgian bedrooms

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Belgian bedrooms contain as many as 23 different harmful pesticides, according to a study by the action group Velt, which campaigns against the chemicals.

Velt (Association for Ecological Living and Gardening) is behind the anti-pesticide campaign Red Bijen en Boeren (Save Bees and Farmers). It carried out a study involving testing bedrooms across Europe for the presence of harmful pesticides.

The study covered 21 European countries and detected a total of 24 pesticides. Belgium tested positive for 23 of them.

“These results are worrying,” said Geert Gommers, pesticides expert at Velt. The source of the problem, he suggested, is intensive agriculture.

When the land is being forced to produce more crops than the seasons would allow and monoculture is the predominant trend, then crops are highly vulnerable to attack from pests that could ruin an entire crop.

Then the farmer turns to pesticides to resolve a problem created by the industry itself. Meanwhile, chemicals companies are happy to oblige, given the huge market there is for their products.

But if members of the public living in the vicinity of farms come in contact with these pesticides – without realising and without the protective equipment used by farm workers – the result can be harmful, even leading to fertility problems and cancer.

In the study, it was found that 17 out of 21 samples found had adverse effects on fertility or the health of the foetus. One in four was potentially carcinogenic.

“Babies crawl all over the floor in their bedroom. In the countryside, they come into constant contact with hormone-disrupting or potentially carcinogenic pesticides via dust. That is unacceptable,” Gommers told the VRT.

The researchers point out that the results only apply to the specific locations where the samples were taken. So it is not possible to draw general conclusions for an entire country based on the test results.

Latest news

More women take police selection tests in Belgium
The selection tests to become a police inspector have more and more female participants, according to figures released by Interior Affairs Minister ...
‘Absurd’: all Brussels schools should have the same Covid rules
Several city councillors for education in Brussels are calling to abolish the "absurd" differences in coronavirus measures for Dutch-speaking and ...
Massive renovations for iconic venue in the heart of Brussels
Brussels concert hall Ancienne Belgique has announced plans to renovate the AB Café and the AB Salon and is looking for a contractor fit for the job. ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Test results show pupils have fallen behind in Flemish schools
Learning delays have been reported in almost all subject areas in Flanders since the start of the pandemic, a trend that continued in 2021, a ...
Belgium considers relaxing testing rules for UK travellers
At the next Consultative Committee meeting, Belgium will look into relaxing the testing and entry policy for travellers coming from the United ...
Jette libraries start giving plants away with books
Visitors to libraries in the Brussels municipality of Jette will soon be able to pick up a free plant along with a book, thanks to the new Plantotek ...
‘Do what you want, but do it as safely as possible,’ experts warn
As the daily number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 3,000 for the first time since May, infectious disease expert Erika Vlieghe and ...
‘We’re running dry’: Brussels teacher shortage reaches critical levels
The teacher shortage in Brussels is affecting schools across language borders, according to Brussels’ Minister for Multilingualism and Dutch ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...