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14 June 2017

France: 12% of salaried workers exposed to at least one carcinogen at the workplace

In France in 2009-2010, 12% of salaried workers (nearly 2.6 million, 2 million men (17%) and 600,000 women (5.9%)) were exposed to at least one carcinogenic hazard and about 757,000 ones had at least a double exposure (5.7% for men and 0.9% for women), according to a study published on 13 June 2017 by Santé publique France, the national public health agency.

The most frequent carcinogenic hazards reported for men were diesel engine emissions, straight mineral oils, wood dust and crystalline silica, and, for women, night work, ionizing radiation, formaldehyde and cytostatics. The exposed occupations were very specific; the exposed men were mainly construction workers, skilled maintenance, transport and metal workers. Exposed women mainly worked in the health sector (nurses, midwives, nurses’ aides) or in process industries, or were hairdressers and beauticians.

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