A number of high profile organisations have banded together to host a variety of events that aim to increase public awareness of dust-borne diseases.
Asbestos Awareness Week was launched on November 21 and runs until November 25 and is run to help combat Australia’s unenviable title of the highest rate of asbestos-related diseases in the developed world.
The long running legacy is due to the large volumes of the mineral being used in construction as the nation expanded – with many materials used in workplaces and dwellings from the 1920s onwards containing the dangerous substance.
This means that – while the use of asbestos has been banned in Australia since 2003 – there are many domestic and industrial sites across the country that still contains the deadly substance.
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral – meaning that even small amounts of force can easily dislodge particles.
Once airborne, the dust can be breathed in by unsuspecting victims – where it lodges in the special lining that makes up the lung’s interior.
From there the small crystals – which in some cases can be microscopic – work their way into the individual cells where they disrupt the normal functioning processes of the individuals DNA.
This can result in cancerous growths known as mesothelioma – a disease that is unique to asbestos and one that is well documented for its high mortality rate.
The carcinogenic properties of asbestos have prompted union organisations such as the CFMEU, the ACTU and the AEU to team up with support groups and the Australian Cancer Council to deliver a number of events.
These aim to promote safe handling practices and provide both workers and members of the public with the information they need to make an educated decision.
For those that have suffered the effects of mesothelioma, there are a number of treatment options available that can help improve their quality of life.
However, some of these procedures are currently undergoing trials and can be expensive to access.
To assist with this, a no win no fee law firm can give a victim access to the legal expertise they need to explore their options without needing to worry about initial consultation fees.
These personal injury lawyers will be able to use their previous experience to help an asbestosis sufferer decide on their preferred course of legal action in order to maximise their potential claim amount.