Prostate cancer after pesticide use: France compensates workers

PARIS (dpa-AFX) – France has cleared the way for compensation for farm workers suffering from prostate cancer in the Antilles. Prostate cancer, which is related to pesticide contact, is now recognized as an occupational disease, said the Ministry of Agriculture in Paris on Wednesday.

In the French overseas regions of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the topic is considered to be highly sensitive. Between 1972 and 1993 the pesticide chlordecone was used in large quantities on banana plantations. According to French health data, exposure to chlorodecone is very high in these overseas regions. In one study, the pesticide was found in 90 percent of adults. The data also shows that Guadeloupe and Martinique, by population, have one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world.

The ministry did not initially disclose how high the compensation amounts are and how many people are entitled to them. The prerequisite, however, is that farm workers have been exposed to the pesticide for at least ten years and the cancer has occurred no later than forty years after contact ./rbo/DP/nas

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