March 11, 2011

Bitumen and Skin Cancer- Court is getting tougher

The Court of Appeal of Lyon on Friday will consider use of public works company Eurovia who was convicted in 2010 of "gross negligence" by the Tribunal of Social Affairs (TASS) Bourg-en-Bresse in death Three years ago a worker bitumen.

In May 2010, for the first time in France, the Tass Bourg-en-Bresse had recognized the "inexcusable" that a subsidiary of Vinci in the case of a worker of 56 years died of skin cancer . Social Security had called his cancer illness but had attributed "to exposure to solar UV," said Wednesday a spokesman Eurovia.

The court "could find that the combination of projections, or even inhalation of bitumen with UV favored either the risk of UV born, born is the risk of bitumen. So there is a "gross negligence on the part of Eurovia," the judges had considered in their deliberations.

The construction company had immediately appealed the decision, saying that "this decision (was) against the most recent studies that have found no link between the asphalt and all forms of cancer" .

"For 20 years, all international studies converge" in this sense, reiterated the AFP representative of the company.

The case began after the death, July 3, 2008, José Francisco Serrano Andrade worker specializing in the spreading of bitumen and tarmac on the roads and highways, a cancer patient who had declared on the face.

The hearing on Friday "is important," the family advocate Andrade, Jean-Jacques Rinck: "With the decision Tass Bourg, we have an embryo of jurisprudence. But if the Court of Appeal of Lyon confirmed Judgement, it will be an atomic bomb, because the bitumen is spread on the entire planet, except in America and Germany ", which is denied Eurovia, according to which the U.S. is the world's largest consumer and Germany the largest in Europe.

The recognition of gross negligence permits "compensation" for rights holders, but especially "we get justice for him (Mr. Andrade) and his pals," added the lawyer.

The inexcusable endorse the responsibility of an employer who has breached an obligation of safety outcome, according to Mr Rinck.

Another case for gross negligence should be considered on appeal in Aix-en-Provence, on the same business, relaxed in the first instance.

Meanwhile, three complaints of "crime of poisoning" have been filed against Eurovia-Vinci, Jean LefebvreJean Lefebvre (another subsidiary of Vinci) and DDE Doubs to the floors of Bourg-en-Bresse, and Orleans (Doubs) by Andrade and two other families of victims.

"We sell a product which is poisonous, everyone knows it is a poison and nobody does anything," said Mr Rinck.

The bitumen, a substance composed of a mixture of hydrocarbons derived almost exclusively from the distillation of crude oils. Several European countries recognize the skin cancer associated with the use of bitumen as an occupational disease.

According to the CGT, 80,000 workers would be in contact more or less prolonged with bitumen, while construction workers hold the record of fatal accidents at work.

By Lalag, is based in Karāchi, Sind, Pakistan, and is Anchor for Allvoices

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