881 Asbestos in the french navy: job-exposure matrix

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Asbestos exposure is a concern for the Navy. 94% of the compensated French soldiers belong to the Navy. While employment-exposure matrices exist for the civilian environment, none are available to the military. Our work aims at creating the first employment-exposure matrix in the French Navy, in order to optimise post-occupational medical surveillance, according to the French health authority.


We conducted a bibliographic search for asbestos in naval repair, naval embarking and foreign navies. From databases such as Medline, Pubmed, we used the following Keywords: Navy, Asbestos, Shypyard and Military and we have extended ourselves to the registers of existing theses on the subject.


Epidemiological and bibliographic data confirm the increased risk in the French Navy. Three variables are important in the proposal of this employment-exposure matrix: employment, year of arming the ship and duration of embarkation. Risk is important for personnel whose work is in direct contact with asbestos, in particular machine personnel, irrespective of their duration of exposure. For embarked personnel who do not have direct contact with asbestos in their jobs, the increase in risk depends essentially on the ship’s year of arming and the presence of asbestos, whether or not on board, as well as the duration of exposure of seafarers.


These results allow us to recommend a classification of the risk in accordance with the recommendations of the french health authority and to propose an adequate post professional follow up for soldiers of the French Navy.

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