28 Aug 2006

New Caledonia miners to be tested over asbestos

2:09 pm on 28 August 2006

New Caledonia's SLN nickel company has asked all its former employees to undergo medical tests to determine if they suffer from any condition linked to asbestos.

This is being reported by the newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, which says 2,000 mainly retired workers have been contacted.

The check-up is in line with French recommendations and it calls for lung x-rays and possible lung function tests for anyone employed in an environment where asbestos was used.

The provisions are not mandatory in New Caledonia but SLN has agreed to the testing following recommendations by a lung specialists who visited Noumea early this year.

The newspaper says joining this health campaign goes against the nickel company's earlier position that nickel mining meant no exposure to asbestos.