Toys, paintings, baby bibs : crib Limoges bans endocrine disruptors

Dishes hard plastic is being phased out at Limoges. — Julien Dodinet / City of Limoges

  • The city of Limoges has decided to experiment with a nursery without endocrine disrupters.
  • She has been helped by experts who have issued recommendations.
  • It will put in place gradually over the course of two years, and intends to extend them to its other 12 children municipal schools.

In Bordeaux, the action of the group, Canteen Without Plastic against endocrine disruptors has borne fruit, since the removal of the dishes in the copolyester (plastic)
has been announced by Alain Juppé, from the 1st of January and should be replaced by tempered glass. A Limoges, the municipality (LR) is input to the issues of endocrine disruptors and does not stop at the dishes, she now wishes to porcelain.

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Limoges, avant-garde in the matter

From 2016, it has launched an experiment to drastically reduce the exposure of toddlers to endocrine disruptors in the nursery Joliot-Curie, who had just been rehabilitated and enlarged. If a lot of daycare centers undertake approaches that are ecological, it is the only one in France to be seized of the issue of endocrine disruptors, “these chemicals interfere with the endocrine system (all of the organs and tissues that secrete hormones) and lead to malfunctions at the level of the growth, development, behaviour or reproductive function,” explains the municipality on its website.

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The mayor, Emile Roger Lombertie (LR) is a medical doctor. “A decisive element in this process,” says Nadine Rivet (Modem), in charge of early childhood in Limoges. As of January 2015, we signed the charter Limoges ‘city health citizen’ and focused particularly on the sector of the childhood “. A Limoges, it has reduced the salt in all the menus of school canteens (it’s not dirty not in daycare) and a program to decrease fat and sugar is also in progress.

An audit conducted at the beginning of 2017

Anne Lafourcade and Olga Diarté, engineers liberal in chemistry and environmental health and author of a guide on the subject for the regional agency of health (ARS), have made a diagnosis in the nursery Joliot Curie, Limoges, which has sixty seats. “Unsurprisingly this has been a difficult exercise because we do not know the composition of certain products, like furniture for example, reports Anne Lafourcade. We then adopt strategies of avoidance overall, we know for example that scented products contain phthalates “.

Beyond the analysis of the products (detergents, textiles, crockery, creative leisure etc), they are also interested in the work of the staff : those in direct contact with children, but also the architects for coatings of floors and walls, and finally the technical services, particularly for purchases.

Change in practice

147 points of improvement have been identified by this team of specialists. Some are easy to carry out, such as the elimination of certain toys, but others, such as equipment cleaners steam, allowing to avoid many of the detergents toxic, is expensive. “It has also encouraged the replacement of bottles and plastics brought in by parents for other glass, an inert material,” says Anne Lafourcade, while the former are suspected to contain bisphenol S “. If the reception of the agents was good, convince buyers, for whom it represents a constraint, in addition, has been more complicated.

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“It was necessary to persuade everyone of the importance of the process “, confirms Nadine Rivet. But the political will of the City seems strong : negotiations are underway with a manufacturer of porcelain for the dishes, the toys in question were disposed of, the cleaning wipes banned, and four cleaners vapor will be purchased by the end of the year. “We have also eradicated the flake paint, toxic, to suggest only a gouache,” says the assistant to the early childhood. “On the wooden games, there may be glues or varnishes that aren’t good, warns Nadine Rivet. It is necessary to be careful and check the labels “. Exit also the bibs in plastic replaced by other tissues and ventilation of the premises is conducted frequently to combat the pollution of indoor air.

The municipality does not deny the existence of disadvantages in its approach, and some recommendations will be less convenient for the agents. By renouncing the plastic cups fitted with spouts for the little ones, for example, it will be necessary to monitor more when they drink. But they will also know more quickly drink the glass all alone.

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An ambition wider

The deputy is given two years to phase in the recommendations. The experimentation should be deployed on the other 12 children municipal schools and eventually good practices, like the abandonment of detergents which are toxic, are intended to extend over the whole of the municipal buildings of Limoges.

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Eradicate all of the endocrine disruptors of the structure is a mission impossible. In the cosmetics, food and textiles there are labels, but there is a lack of information on many other products. But this approach, supported by the ARS, can reduce significantly the exposure of children, particularly vulnerable to these dangerous substances.