Philips respirators: “This must be known and we must stop letting these large groups do it!”

New health scandal in sight with the case of Philips respirators: the group would have continued to use a foam which could be carcinogenic in its devices against sleep apnea despite several alerts. Testimony of Christophe Madelon, a user who filed a complaint in the Pyrénées Orientales.

Christophe Madelon discovered that he was potentially exposed to a carcinogenic product, thanks to the media last February. Suffering from sleep apnea, this resident of Saint-Cyprien, in the Pyrénées-Orientales, has been using a Philips respirator for five years. He learns on RMC that patients like him are coming together throughout France to take the Dutch giant to court.

At the origin of the problem: a sound-absorbing polyurethane foam inside the device, which, as it degrades, releases compounds that can cause irritation, headaches, asthma and even potentially cancer.

The description of these symptoms is immediately echoed in the fifties.

When I used this device for sleep apnea, I woke up constantly, several times a night. I also suffered from headaches and had an ear infection that lasted for a year.

Christophe Madelon, user of a Philips respirator

The former commercial in photovoltaic panels will therefore file a complaint, with great difficulty, with the gendarmerie of Saint-Cyprien. I had to insist heavily and try to do it several times before I managed to file a complaint. But once that was done, the prosecution reacted quickly: the public prosecutor of Perpignan requisitioned my device for expertise in the week following my filing of a complaint.“, explains this Catalan.

The people affected by this new scandal met at a meeting in September. They would be about fifty in the Pyrénées-Orientales.

Like at least 2,000 other people, some, including Christophe Madelon, will sue the Dutch group in civil court: they will join a law firm specializing in the matter, Myleowho launched a class action.

The purpose of this civil action is to obtain financial compensation for the moral prejudice of anxiety: as with asbestos, people knowing they are exposed to a carcinogenic product for years can suffer from intense stress.

But for Christophe Madelon, money is secondary in this case.

What I want is for this to be known. It’s like the business of Pick and Levothyrox, we have to stop leaving everything to these big groups, pharmaceutical or otherwise. They must be punished and this must not happen again.

Christophe Madelon, resident of Saint Cyprien

Philips knew?

Since June 2021, Philips has been forced to engage in a massive recall campaign for several defective models of respirators.

A preliminary investigation was opened on June 20, 2022 by the public health center of the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office, for “endangering the lives of others”, “aggravated deception” and “administration of harmful substances”. Since then, complaints have been filed all over France.

This Thursday, the case rebounded again this Thursday on the site from Franceinfo:

According to our colleagues, Philips has continued to use the possibly carcinogenic foam to equip its respirators against sleep apnea despite several alerts issued by an American manufacturer. The latter had systematically advised against the use of this polyester foam which degrades under the effect of heat or humidity.

On the markets, Philips shares have fallen by more than 50% in one year.

In the meantime, due to choppy nights and health problems, Christophe Madelon can no longer work: at 58, he is now on disability.

Philips respirators: “This must be known and we must stop letting these large groups do it!”