French Asbestos Ruling
On March 3, 2004, the French State Council confirmed that Government inaction contributed significantly to the high incidence of occupational asbestos disease in France. The legal action had been instigated by the Labor Ministry which itself faced accusations in 2000 and 2001 from an administrative tribunal in Marseilles of being complicit in the asbestos deaths of four workers.
In France asbestos dust levels remained unregulated until 1976; asbestos producers took full advantage of this loophole. Even after the introduction of preventative measures, the Government did nothing to evaluate or monitor the situation until 1995. Currently, more than 3,000 people die from asbestos-related diseases in France every year.
March 11, 2004