NewsLocalAstrasol area cancer patients to protest court decision on Saturday

Astrasol area cancer patients to protest court decision on Saturday

The ‘Committee of Astrasol Area Cancer Patients’ is organising a demonstration on Saturday to protest a Supreme Court decision which ruled that there is insufficient evidence to prove that the operation of the Astrasol shoe sole factory caused a cancer cluster among workers and residents of the area.

The protest will occur on Saturday, October 8, at 10 am at the Astrasol factory area in Latsia, Nicosia.

In an announcement on Friday, the committee invited “all groups which fight for human rights” to join them in protest.

Following an appeal by Astrasol Ltd, Phivos Liassis – as an official of the factory – and the Republic of Cyprus, the Supreme Court in September 2022 overruled a Nicosia district court decision from 2017, which found that the factory was inadvertently responsible for creating a cancer cluster for employees and the general population living around the factory.

According to the appeal ruling, a causal link between the cancers and the operation of the shoe sole plant was not proven.

The initial ruling by the Nicosia district court in December 2017 had awarded damages to 22 plaintiffs and found Astrasol guilty of toxic gas emissions and for causing cancer to nearby residents.

Astrasol was also found using the toxic substance dichloromethane (R40) illegally.

More than 60 Astrasol employees and residents of the area, including children, died from cancer, while more than 40 are currently living with the disease.

A study by the ‘Water and Health Laboratory’ of the Cyprus University of Technology published in 2017, found that emission rates at Astrasol exceeded the permissible DCM limits established for industrial zones.

According to the study, brain and central nervous system cancer incidence rates in the area around the factory showed a significant increase when compared with those observed in other areas of Cyprus.

The factory was operating from the early 80s until 2009.

Survivors of cancer and relatives of those who died of the illness said they will take the case before the European Court of Human Rights.

Read more:

Astrasol factory ruling by Supreme Court to be challenged before ECHR

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