John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

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Inequalities in exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic chemicals in occupational settings in France Volume 13, issue 4, Juillet-Août 2014

Authors
1 Université de Lyon
GATE - UMR 5824-CNRS
93, chemin des Mouille
BP167
69131 Ecully cedex
France
2 Université de Lyon
ENS Lyon
GATE - UMR 5824-CNRS
15 parvis René Descartes
BP 7000
69347 Lyon cedex7
France
3 Université de Lyon
Cancer Centre Léon Bérard
Direction de la Recherche Clinique et de l’innovation
GATE - UMR 5824-CNRS
28 rue Laënnec
69373 Lyon cedex 08
France
4 Université de Lyon
Cancer Centre Léon Bérard
Unité cancer et Environnement
EA 4129 « Santé, Individu, Société »
28 rue Laënnec
69 773 Lyon cedex 08
France
* Tirés à part
  • Key words: carcinogens, health inequalities, occupational exposure
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2014.0713
  • Page(s) : 336-41
  • Published in: 2014

Our study used the 2010 Medical Monitoring of Occupational Risks survey (Surveillance médicale des expositions aux risques, SUMER) to assess French workers’ exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic (CMR) chemicals at work. Nearly 2.2 million people, i.e., 10.2% of all workers, were exposed to one or more CMR agents during the week before their mandatory medical visit. Among them, 70,000 were exposed to multiple chemicals; 3.5 million total exposure situations were thus identified in 2010. Exposure to asbestos accounted for only 2.3% of CMR exposures, one tenth the number of workers exposed to diesel exhaust. Our results show that some jobs and employee profiles face multiple disadvantages in the labor market, including a high risk of exposure to substances hazardous to their health. These include blue-collar workers, persons working at night, and those with precarious (short-term, temporary or non-permanent) employment contracts, and these workers should be high-priority targets for prevention.