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But their excess mortality is well demonstrated. We heard this statement in particular from Jean-Luc Mélenchon, on the sidelines of a demonstration of sewer workers against the pension reform.
Do sewer workers have a life expectancy seventeen years lower than the French average? Recently, we heard it in particular from Jean-Luc Mélenchon, on the sidelines of a demonstration of sewer workers against the pension reform. The rebellious leader is not the only one to put forward this figure: many press articles, like France Inter, have also mentioned them, without specifying the origin, or by citing very different sources such as the National Institute of industrial environment and risks or the National Institute of Health and Medical Research.
Problem: None of these organizations have published a study on the life expectancy of sewer workers. Only the National Institute for Research and Security (INRS) has in fact published figures specifically on the excess mortality of sewer workers in Paris, in 2006 and 2009. But without making any calculations concerning life expectancy. INRS explained to Désintox that the number of sewer workers in Paris is indeed too small for these calculations to be relevant.
So where does the seventeen-year difference come from? It was impossible to find it: it may have been calculated by making an imprecise extrapolation of the INRS figures. In any case, it circulates without anyone having thought of going to check it at the source.
There is only one certainty: existing studies clearly show a real excess mortality of men who maintain sewers.
Find Detox Monday to Thursday, on the show 28 Minutes on Arte, presented by Elisabeth Quin. On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/28minutes/ On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/28minutesARTES On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artedesintox/ On the site of Arte: http://28minutes.arte.tv/