European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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8 December 2017

France: work-related respiratory tract cancers cost the country at least EUR 1 billion per year

A team of researchers made up of occupational health economists and an epidemiologist has found that respiratory cancers attributable to work-related risk factors cost France between EUR 960 million and EUR 1.9 billion in 2010.

The researchers incorporated into their calculations not only the direct costs (linked to hospital care, medication and outpatient treatment), but also the indirect costs (production losses) incurred as a result of respiratory cancers (lung, laryngeal, nasal and sinus, mesothelioma) attributable to workplace exposure to seven carcinogens*.

Lung cancer alone accounts for around 85% of these costs.

In November 2017, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) estimated the annual cost to the European Union of work-related cancers (respiratory and others) at between EUR 270 and 610 billion, or in other words between 1.8% and 4.1% of the EU’s GDP.

*Asbestos, chromium, diesel engine exhaust emissions, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, working as a painter, crystalline silica, wood and leather dusts.

Further reading:

Serrier, H., et al., Cancers des voies respiratoires attribuables aux expositions professionnelles : quels coûts pour la société française ?, Santé publique, vol. 29, juillet-août 2017.

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