Pesticides linked to Caribbean ‘health disaster’

The use of toxic pesticides has triggered a "health disaster" in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, the Independent reported on Wednesday, citing a French cancer specialist.

Half the islands’ men were likely to develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives, the newspaper cited Dominique Belpomme, who presented his report to the French parliament, as predicting.

Birth defects in children were also becoming far more common, the report said, adding that tests have shown "every child born in Guadeloupe is contaminated with chlordecone."

A highly toxic pesticide, chlordecone was banned in many countries in 1979, but it was in use on the islands until 2002.

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