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Pesticides are used in large quantities in current agriculture all over Europe. Some pesticides are suspected of having negative effects on human health. While the risk associated with occupational exposure is getting well-documented, evidence of dietary exposure to these molecules in the general population is lacking. The aim of this study is to describe dietary exposure to pesticides among NutriNet-Santé cohort participants’.
NutriNet-Santé is a web-based cohort of French middle-aged adults launched in 2009. BioNutriNet is an ancillary study launched in 2014, aiming to measure organic and conventional food consumption and evaluate different dimensions of diet sustainability. Dietary intake of organic and conventional foods was assessed using a 264 items self-administered semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Exposure to 25 commonly used pesticides was evaluated using contamination data from CVUA Stuttgart accounting for farming system. Dietary pesticide exposure profiles were identified using Non-Negative Matrix factorization (NMF), specially adapted for non-negative data with excess zeros. The NMF scores were then introduced in a hierarchical clustering process. Identified clusters were described in terms of sociodemographics, dietary patterns and exposure to pesticides.
A total of 34,442 participants were selected. Four clusters were identified. All clusters seemed to be exposed to the same molecules, with gradual intensity. The first cluster was characterized by the lowest energy-intake, highest organic food consumption (26.9%) and lowest dietary pesticide exposure; participants had highest consumption levels of organic food groups, including fruits and vegetables. Proportion of male participants and of rural residents was higher than in other groups. Clusters 2 and 3 were characterized by intermediate energy intake, and low organic food consumption. High conventional fruits and vegetables intake and moderate pesticide exposure were observed in cluster 2, composed of a lower smokers’ proportion. Cluster 3 individuals were less exposed to pesticides than clusters 2 and 4, except for Spinosad and Pyrethrins. Cluster 4 was characterized by the highest energy intake, lowest organic food consumption (12.2%), and highest pesticide exposure ; high consumption levels of conventional fruits, vegetables and a higher proportion of vegetarians were observed. This cluster was composed of 85.6% female participants, mainly retired (47.5%), mostly living in cities of 200 000 inhabitants and more (48.2%), and physically active.
Dietary pesticide exposures seem to vary across the clusters and depending on the proportion of organic food in the diet. High consumers of conventional fruits and vegetables consumers seem to be more exposed to our selection of pesticides.
Study of the hydro-sedimentary dynamics of lakes provides key information on hydrological changes. In this work, we investigate Lake Azigza in the Moroccan Middle Atlas, a region that suffers from a scarcity of observational hydrological data necessary for a coherent management of water resources. Sedimentary deposits of Lake Azigza (32°58′N, 5°26′W, 1,550 m above sea level) were dated and analyzed by combining geochemical and mineralogical measurements coupled with microfacies characterization for the last 134 yr. The detrital component derived from X-ray fluorescence elemental composition and microstructures analysis of the lake sediments provided proxies of runoff activity and lake-level changes, respectively. These proxies were calibrated with regional hydro-climatic and instrumental measurements available over the last 50 yr and used to reconstruct past hydrological changes on inter-annual to decadal time scales between 1879 and 2013. Since 1879, lake level and runoff proxies responded in phase to regional inter-annual precipitation variations. We also show that after the major lake-level drop observed in 2008, the response of the runoff proxy to variable precipitation regime is enhanced. Such an approach emphasizes the potential of these hydro-climate-sensitive sedimentary archives to assess the impact of climate change in the Mediterranean region.
Latitudinal movements of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), analogous to its present-day seasonal shifts, and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-type variability both potentially impacted rainfall changes at the millennial timescale during the last glacial period. In this study we compare tropical Pacific sedimentary records of paleoprecipitation to decipher which climate mechanism was responsible for the past rainfall changes. We find that latitudinal movements of the ITCZ are consistent with the observed rainfall patterns, challenging the ENSO hypothesis for explaining the rapid rainfall changes at low latitudes. The ITCZ-related mechanism appears to reflect large-scale atmospheric rearrangements over the tropical belt, with a pronounced Heinrich–Dansgaard/Oeschger signature. This observation is coherent with the simulated tropical rainfall anomalies induced by a weakening of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation in modeling experiments.
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