The workers and subcontractors of the Brest arsenal (as in other arsenals) were exposed to asbestos, without protection, until this material was banned in 1997. A decree setting exposure limit values as early as 1977 went unheeded. These workers and sailors developed pleural plaques, fibrosis, cancer.
In Brest, the Departmental Association for the Defense of Asbestos Victims has opened nearly 3,600 cases since 1999, including 400 for deceased persons. More than 70% are linked to the arsenal. ” Knowing that only a third of those affected pass through us, the number of deaths caused by asbestos must exceed a thousand », Considers Pierre Jubert of Addeva.
Since 2001, asbestos victims can apply to a specific fund (Fiva) to be compensated. Employees of the former Naval Construction Department (now Naval Group) also have the right to early departure (1 year for 3 years of exposure) and to loss of anxiety.
The unions are fighting for these rights to be extended to other employees recruited under private contracts. Naval Group refuses to integrate the “Asbestos decree of 2001” citing the low percentage of its employees exposed, while many ships remain asbestos.