International News

FRANCE: AUTHORITIES LINK ASBESTOS TO MORE CANCERS

Some cancers of the larynx and ovaries are linked to exposure to asbestos, French health authorities have confirmed. Laryngeal and ovarian cancers are “under-reported and under-recognised” when they are linked to occupational exposure to this material, reported the National Health Security Agency (Anses). The move clears the way for better compensation for affected individuals, with Anses supporting the addition of both cancers to the list of occupational diseases officially recognised in France. This move would create a ‘presumption’ the cancers are asbestos-related, rather than leaving it to the cancer sufferer to prove their condition is occupational.
Source: France Télévisions

TURKEY: CHILDREN SICKENED IS PLASTICS RECYCLING JOBS

Children as young as nine are working in plastic waste recycling centres in Turkey, putting them at risk of serious and lifelong health conditions, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).  In a new report, HRW accuses the Turkish government of exacerbating the health and environmental impact on the workers by failing to enforce laws that require strict licensing and regular inspections of recycling centres. Krista Shennum, Gruber fellow at HRW and the report’s lead researcher, said: “We call on the UK, the EU and other countries to manage their own waste domestically rather than exporting it to Turkey, where it is causing human health and human rights harms.” HRW interviewed 64 people in the southern Turkish city of Adana and Istanbul, including 26 who now work or have previously worked in plastic recycling facilities, found a third had either begun the work as children or were children when interviewed.
Source: HRW news release and report, “It’s As If They’re Poisoning Us”. The Health Impacts of Plastic Recycling in Turkey, 21 September 2022. The Guardian


USA: THREE FAM DEATHS, BUT REGULATORS ARE POWERLESS

The deaths of three people killed after being trapped in a grain silo in Pennsylvania will not be investigated because they died on a family farm. Andrew Beiler, 47, and his two sons - a 19-year-old and a 14-year-old whose names were not released - died of asphyxiation from “silo gas.” One son was overcome by fumes, and his father and sibling attempted a rescue. All three were asphyxiated. There will be no official labour department investigation, because family members are excluded from Wage and Hour regulations and the safety regulator OSHA is not allowed to enforce safety standards on farms with 10 or fewer employees, or even set foot on the premises. “In other words, on farms, parents are allowed to kill their children, as long as it’s done in a work context,” said Jordan Barab, a former deputy director of OSHA.

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