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Judgments: No occupational disease due to toner dust pollution


LSG Munich: cause of asthma disease not proven
Asthma is not an occupational disease just because workers have inhaled toner dust from laser printers and copiers for years. Because there is currently no sufficiently confirmed knowledge that toner dust causes specific health problems such as bronchial asthma, the Bavarian State Social Court (LSG) in Munich decided in a recently published judgment (file number: L 3 U 385/14).

A woman who had worked as a bank clerk from 1992 to 1999 had sued. During her work, she repeatedly inhaled toner dust from the laser printers and copiers used in the bank. When the bank employee was diagnosed with asthma, she attributed this to the toner dust pollution in the workplace.

Therefore, she wanted her illness to be recognized as an occupational disease. She referred to an immunoassay that showed a “possible inflammatory hypersensitivity reaction” to toner dust components.

The LSG did not recognize asthma as an occupational disease. The toner dust is not the cause of the disease. Rather, this is due to other, external factors and thus "fateful".

In order to be recognized as an occupational disease, it must be proven "with a probability bordering on certainty" that the health damage is caused by the toner dust. According to an expert opinion obtained from the court, there is no such evidence, despite numerous medical studies on toner dust pollution, emphasized the LSG in its judgment of May 24, 2016.

In another proceeding, the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster decided on July 8, 2016, that a so-called contact dermatitis due to a toner dust contamination cannot justify a "business accident" with a financial officer (Az .: 3 A 3510/13; JurAgentur - Notification dated July 12, 2016). The likelihood of illness is not higher than inflammatory skin reactions in other professions. fle / mwo / fle

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