In France, industrial risks are governed by various laws (the Barnier law of 1995, the Bachelot law of 2003, etc.), all of which fit into the European framework defined by the 1982 Seveso Directive, revised in 1996 and 2012. Reach continues to evolve and now covers more than 200 registered substances.
Climate risks can, in many cases, be likened to natural hazards (including forest fires, flooding, submergence, cyclones, clay shrinkage/swelling and urban heat islands). In 2018, 62 million people were affected by natural disasters around the world. In France, nearly two-thirds of the country’s 36,000 municipalities are exposed to at least one natural hazard. One in four French people and one in three jobs are potentially exposed to the risk of flooding.
France’s next National Health and Environment Plan (PNSE4 2020-2024) aims to better understand exposure and the effects of the environment on public health and to reduce exposure to environmental hazards affecting our health. It will focus particularly on indoor air quality.
Beyond endocrine disruptors, nanomaterials and electromagnetic radiation, other risks are emerging, such as exposure to crystalline silica, which, like asbestos, concerns mainly workers in the construction and mining industries, or risks related to implementation of the energy transition.