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Do regulations protect workers from occupational exposures to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR) agents in France?
  1. Nathalie Havet1,
  2. Alexis Penot2,
  3. Morgane Plantier1,
  4. Barbara Charbotel3,
  5. Magali Morelle4,
  6. Béatrice Fervers5
  1. 1Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, ISFA, Laboratoire SAF, Lyon, France
  2. 2Université de Lyon, ENS Lyon, GATE - UMR 5824-CNRS, Lyon, France
  3. 3Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, IFSTTAR, UMRESTTE, Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud Service des maladies professionnelles, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  4. 4Université de Lyon, Cancer Centre Léon Bérard, Direction de la Recherche Clinique et de l’Innovation, GATE - UMR 5824-CNRS, Lyon, France
  5. 5Département Cancer and Environnement, Centre Léon Bérard, Université de Lyon, INSERM 1052, CNRS 5286, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon, Lyon, France
  1. Correspondence to Nathalie Havet, Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, ISFA, Laboratoire SAF, Lyon 69366, France; nathalie.havet{at}


Objective This article explores the impact of regulations on the implementation of collective protections in France to occupational exposure to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR) agents.

Methods Individual data from the French national cross-sectional survey of occupational hazards conducted in 2010 were analysed. We investigated whether stricter regulations and longer exposures were associated with higher level of collective protection using multivariate logistic regressions.

Results General ventilation, for which effect is limited as collective protection for CMR products, was present in 19% of situations involving CMR agents while isolation chambers, the most effective form of protection, were only very rarely implemented. Multilevel logistic regressions show that exposure situations to products classified as category 1 or 2 by the European Union do not have a higher probability of benefiting from a collective protection measures. Exposures to products with a Binding Occupational Exposure Limit Value selectively benefited from a better level of protection. Exposures to agents entered on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) list of proven or probable carcinogens benefited more from effective collective protections than products suspected to be carcinogens but not yet classified by IARC.

Conclusions These results suggest that the dissemination of evaluations of carcinogens by the IARC translate into improved protective measures even though the IARC classification has no mandatory impact on regulations.

  • protection measures
  • occupational exposure
  • carcinogens

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  • Contributors The manuscript was written and approved by all the authors.

  • Funding This study was funded by the French Directorate of Research, Studies and Statistics Coordination (Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques- DARES), of the French Ministry of Labour, in the framework of the call for « Risquesdu travail: autour de SUMER 2010 » project.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was granted by the French National Commission for Data Protection and Privacy (CNIL) and ‘Conseil National de l’Information Statistique’.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.