Currently, only 15 to 30% of occupational cancers are recognized, according to the national cancer institute. “98% of them are cancers attributable to asbestos, benzene, ionizing radiation and wood dust,” adds the National Institute of Health (Inserm). In a few days, the situation could change: asbestos-related ovarian cancer is about to be recognized as an occupational disease by the complementary system.
This first in France concerns Liliane, a woman who died in June 2012 after cutting the cords ofasbestos for more than 20 years with Deville, a manufacturer of boilers. “Supported by Addeva 08, which defends the victims of asbestos in the Ardennes, this file promised to be difficult, because this pathology is not registered in any table of occupational disease and can only be recognized by a Regional Committee of recognition of occupational diseases (CRRMP) within the framework of the complementary system”, indicates the national association for the defense of victims of asbestos (Andeva) on his website. The CRRMP Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie considers that “exposure to asbestos is certain” in the case of Liliane.
A direct link between affection and exposure
In July 2010, the North East CRRMP had refused the request for recognition of occupational disease, but the family decided to appeal and seized the Social Security business court.
The appeal was based on an opinion issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which, after bringing together 27 scientists from eight countries, considered that “sufficient evidence now exists to show that asbestos causes cancers of the larynx and ovaries”. The committee therefore deduces that “the time to onset (more than 20 years) of the pathology presented is completely compatible with the scientific data. For all these reasons, it is advisable to retain a direct and essential link between the condition presented and professional exposure.”
“This decision does justice to the suffering of Liliane and her family,” concludes the association. On this occasion, Andeva requests that ovarian cancer and laryngeal cancer be included in table asbestos-related occupational diseases.