Scandal of asbestos : “It is a quick stop”

Health 28 June, 2017


Published the 28.06.2017 at 19h05


Keywords :

amianteprocèssanté public

Non-places are raining. Twenty years of investigation of the case of the asbestos will eventually led to this : nothing. The public prosecutor of Paris requested the investigations in the criminal, arguing that the impossibility of dating the contamination of employees. A score record may lead to non-places.

How to explain such a decision by the ministry, even as the pathologies of many of the victims were recognized as occupational diseases ? While 10 to 20 % of lung cancers are attributable to asbestos, which exposure could cause up to 100,000 deaths by 2025 ? Does he therefore not responsible in this case ? Marie-Odile Bertella-Geffroy, a lawyer, was a judge of instruction in the pole Santé publique du Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris. She looks back on this decision.

How do you interpret the prosecutor’s decision ?

Marie-Odile Bertella-Geffroy : It is disappointing. In earlier decisions, the administrative and political officials that have been put out of the question. This time it is the turn of the CEO and plant managers, while they exposed themselves in full knowledge of the cause of the workers to asbestos.


The parquet floor echoed the arguments of the people involved. To defend themselves, CEO’s of factories of asbestos, explained that the victims had to prove they had been contaminated in the course of their own duties. It is a stop general.


But this contamination can be demonstrated ?

M-O Bertella-Geffroy : It is by the exhibition. Unlike other public health issues, where all the difficulty lies in the demonstration of a causal link between certain pathologies and infringements, asbestos is highly knowledgeable. Typically, mesothelioma is a cancer signed ” asbestos “.


The occurrence of these pathologies can occur at the first exposure. Only the period of exposure into account, and this element is easily demonstrable. Italy, who had been a judge of the Court of Assizes of the CEO of Eternit Italy now has a law that criminalizes the exposure of a conscious to a danger of death in this type of case to public health.


What difficulties have you encountered when you have heard the case ?

M-O Bertella-Geffroy : The lack of resources, and the opposition of the Parquet flooring at the junction of the important issues involving both the decision-makers in administrative and political, and industrial. Everything is linked, of course.