Long-term pollution by chlordecone of tropical volcanic soils in the French West Indies: New insights and improvement of previous predictions - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Environmental Pollution Year : 2022

Long-term pollution by chlordecone of tropical volcanic soils in the French West Indies: New insights and improvement of previous predictions

Abstract

Chlordecone (CLD), was widely applied in banana fields in the French West Indies from 1972 to 1993. The WISORCH model was constructed to assess soil contamination by CLD and estimated that it lasts from 100 to 600 years, depending on leaching intensity and assuming no degradation. However, recent studies demonstrated that CLD is degraded in the environment, hence questioning the reliability of previous estimations. This paper shows how to improve the model and provides insights into the long-term dissipation of CLD. In-situ observations were made in nearly 2545 plots between 2001 and 2020, and 17 plots were sampled at two dates. Results of soil analyses showed an unexpected 4-fold decrease in CLD concentrations in the soil, in contrast to simulations made using the first version of WISORCH at the time. Neither erosion, nor CLD leaching explained these discrepancies. In a top-down modeling approach, these new observations of CLD concentrations led us to implement a new dissipation process in the WISORCH model that corresponds to a DT50 dissipation half-life of 5 years. The new version of the improved model allowed us to update the prediction of the persistence of soil pollution, with soil decontamination estimated for the 2070s. This development calls for re-evaluation of soil pollution status. Further validation of the new version of WISORCH is needed so it can contribute to crop management on contaminated soil.
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Dates and versions

insu-03600587 , version 1 (07-03-2022)

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Irina Comte, Alice Pradel, Armand Crabit, Charles Mottes, Lai Ting Pak, et al.. Long-term pollution by chlordecone of tropical volcanic soils in the French West Indies: New insights and improvement of previous predictions. Environmental Pollution, 2022, 303, pp.119091. ⟨10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119091⟩. ⟨insu-03600587⟩
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