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The evasion of justice in the face of the scandal of asbestos

Editorial. The court of appeal of Paris was canceled Friday, the indictments for homicide and involuntary injury of nine decision-makers, industrialists, scientists and senior officials.

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The evasion of justice in the face of the scandal of asbestos
Editorial of " World ". She has pretty names, this fiber fire retardant, this "white gold" that has enriched so many industrial : chrysotile when it is white, crocidolite when it is blue. But asbestos is first and foremost a poison which kills. Its toxicity has been known for a century. The first cause of death is work-related, it has generated a long line of victims.

followed twenty years of judicial proceedings which, at each step, delete a little closer prospect of a trial of asbestos. Friday, September 15, Paris court of appeal has quashed indictments, occurred between end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, for homicides and involuntary injury, nine decision-makers, industrialists, scientists, high-ranking officials. They were involved in two cases that are emblematic of this scandal health, campus paris-Jussieu and shipyards Normed Dunkirk.

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Twenty years after banning of asbestos, in January 1997, se nine persons, including a former director-general of health, were suspected of having promoted "controlled use" of this fiber highly carcinogenic, between 1982 and 1995, to delay to maximum of its prohibition. The magistrates held that y could not have been aware of seriousness of risk involved, precise moment when inhalation of poison triggered disease, and that senior officials concerned had not power to order a different privacy policy. The national Association of asbestos victims (Andeva) has filed an appeal before Court of cassation, which had already invalidated, in 2015, cancellation by court of appeal of Paris, in July 2014, of nine indicted.

" A sort of amnesty early "

many reports have yet demonstrated dangerousness of asbestos. The simple inhalation of its fibres is cause of asbestosis (fibrosis of lungs), or of broncho-pulmonary cancers. Cancer of pleura, or mesolioma, has resulted in death, after years of horrific suffering, number of shipyard workers who, while y suddenly, plates of sub-marine or floquaient miles of piping were to float this white dust, which was going to take.

Although banned, asbestos is still present in many buildings and facilities. The figures vary, but y are all terrifying. The French health watch Institute speaks about 1,700 deaths each year. The Andeva evokes 3,000 deaths per year. According to a report by High Council of public health, in 2014, " estimate of number of expected deaths between 2009 and 2050 by cancers of lung linked to asbestos exposure to come would be of order of 50 000 to 75 000, in addition to 18 000 to 25 000 mesolioma ".

asbestos continues to hit. While a dozen or folders of intoxication to " white gold ", in respect of plant managers and occupational physicians, are pending, decision of Paris court of appeal, risk weigh heavily. The survivors, and families of those who gave ir lives, cry out for justice. Beyond a conviction of those responsible, it should at least prevent what Francis Desriaux, vice-president of Andeva, called ' a licence to kill ", " a kind of amnesty-ahead given to all those who would expose employees or consumers to this type of substances ". Today, justice handles this scandal backwards. She seems to shirk.


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