of homeowners discover that their homes were built on polluted soil



Article written by

D. Sébastien, A. Domy, P. Bishop, S.Dauba, N.Baker – France 2

France Televisions

Residential neighborhoods have been built in place of former industrial areas. Sometimes, depollution work has not been carried out, endangering the health of the inhabitants.

An owner discovered, during expansion works, that she had been living with her family for almost ten years on polluted land. “The craftsmen dug in this place and discovered, at a depth of about two meters, a large black viscous layer of hydrocarbons in the soil“, testifies Mélanie Devers, owner in Grézieu-la-Varenne (Rhône). She learned that her house was used as a garage for an old laundry which was spilling chemicals.

Analyzes of the air inside the house showed the presence of a carcinogenic volatile product, trichloroethylene, which worries her for the health of her children. In the neighborhood, the rate of this product was noted as being 800 times higher than the maximum authorized. Audrey Marcodini’s house is located above the old laundry. The owner left the premises in a hurry after receiving the test results. The owners hope to obtain a clean-up or compensation.

Among our sources:

Government site on soil pollution:

https://www.notre-environnement.gouv.fr/ree/rapport-sur-l-etat-de-l-environnement/themes-ree/risques-nuisances-pollutions/pollution-des-sols/sites-et- polluted-soils/article/polluted-sites-and-soils

Database and map of polluted soils in France:


Survey carried out by Anne-Laure Barral / Radio France investigation unit:


Blog from a law firm specializing in environmental law on the issue of liability in soil pollution cases:


Non-exhaustive list

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