The term asbestos covers a group of naturally formed mineral-based fibres. These fibres have special physical and chemical properties which, in addition to the low cost of asbestos extraction, encouraged the massive use of asbestos fibres in various forms and in a multitude of sectors throughout the 20th century. The dangers of asbestos were identified in the early 20th century, but protective and preventive measures were only implemented much later. See the Agency’s work in this area.
In 1999 the French authorities established a specific early retirement scheme for persons having worked with asbestos (CAATA) further to the health crisis surrounding exposure of workers to asbestos. As part of the reform of this scheme, ANSES received a formal request to prepare a summary of the available data on occupational exposure to asbestos and specifically to identify occupations with a high level of exposure.
In carrying out its work in 2009 on short and thin asbestos fibres, the Agency specifically recommended a reassessment of collective and personal protective equipment in order to evaluate their effectiveness with respect to these two types of fibre.
In 2003, new data on the possible pathogenicity of short asbestos fibres raised questions in the scientific community. As a result, the Agency received a formal request to assess the risks associated with short asbestos fibres and thin asbestos fibres. The results of this assessment were published in February 2009. On the basis of the findings of this expert appraisal, the French Ministry of Labour amended regulations on the protection of the general public and workers against the risks associated with inhalation of asbestos dus
The article has been added to your library