2012 to 2016
Program type
Regional - National
Scientific cooperation

Effects of chlordecone (Kepone) contamination on epilithic biofilm in rivers: identification of elements for bioindication


Significant contamination by pesticides in some freshwater resources has been highlighted at the beginning of the 2000’s in Guadeloupe and Martinique Islands (French West Indies). Though they were banned from usage in the 1990’s, toxic and persistent molecules are still present in soils, with concentrations reaching 10 for the chlordecone (Kepone®), the most worrying organochlorine residue. Driven by water cycle, this terrestrial pollution is progressively transferred into surrounding aquatic ecosystems, affecting both water and biota. Chlordecone levels measured in Guadeloupe and Martinique rivers are among the highest values detected worldwide in freshwater ecosystems but, so far, no bioindicator of the chlordecone contamination was found. This project aims at developing new alternative methods for measuring, modelling, and characterizing the contaminants and their metabolites. The first investigations recently performed on river stone epilithic biofilm revealed initial promising results in this context.


  • Team 6 UMR 7208 BOREA
  • UMR IPREM 5254 (Pau)
  • UMR CNRS 5805 EPOC (Bordeaux)
  • GTSI (Pointe à Pitre)