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Blood Chlordecone Screening now free for all Martinicans

Considered to be a groundbreaking step forward in the chlordecone saga all Martinicans will have access to free screening for the level of chlordecone in the blood.

Before the declaration was made, free access had been reserved for agricultural workers and their beneficiaries while the rest of the population had to shell out up to 140 euros to perform a chlordecone test.

The streets of Fort-de-France saw almost 10,000 people demonstrating against a looming statute of limitations that would have hurt their compensation case for widespread harm done by the highly toxic insecticide.

The chlordecone test is a blood test taken in a laboratory in Martinique, which is then sent to the Limoges University Hospital, the only authorized entity to detect the pesticide.

According to French news outlet France24, The chemical, chlordecone, which has been linked to prostate, stomach and pancreatic cancer, was widely used between 1972 and 1993 to protect banana plantations from insects in Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Over 90 percent of the adult population of Martinique and Guadeloupe suffer from chlordecone poisoning, according to the French public health agency.

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