With the risk of asbestosis becoming a public health crisis, the Australian government has been making a major effort to eradicate the importation and use of asbestos. Unfortunately, with the sheer amount of construction work ongoing in Australia, there are limits to the nets that the government has established.
This has been amplified by recent cases of buildings and construction sites using asbestos products – some without even knowing it.
Asbestos finding its way onto Australian sites
The ABC has reported that construction work has begun again on the Queensland government’s new executive building after the discovery of asbestos. The deadly fibre was found inside metal skirting that was imported from China.
While some may see this as an isolated incident, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) CEO Peter Tighe said he was aware of many more instances. Specifically, he pointed out that the organisation was aware of 64 sites where asbestos-tainted concrete fibre sheeting has been used.
“It’s an emerging problem and it seems to be growing exponentially, as more and more products are brought into Australia, because of the wind-down of manufacturing in this country,” he said.
“What we’ve really got now is really an indication which could be the tip of the iceberg.”
More cases of mesothelioma expected
A recent report from the ASEA found that 58 per cent of future mesothelioma diagnoses will be due to industrial exposure, with the remaining 42 per cent coming from non-industrial exposure, such as in the home.
The report believes that there will be around 19,400 new cases by the end of the century. However, it is the non-occupational exposure that has many asbestos experts worried.
ASEA CEO Peter Tighe said the report aims to predict where future cases will come from.
“We need to better understand current risks and exposure pathways to reduce the incidence of mesothelioma,” Peter Tighe said.
“Mesothelioma is an unfair and devastating disease, not just for those who have been diagnosed, but also their family, friends and the community. Symptoms do not show up for a very long time after exposure.”
If you have been exposed to asbestos and are worried about the future consequence for your family, make sure you talk to an expert in personal injury claims. At Gerard Malouf and Partners, our lawyers have experience making mesothelioma and asbestosis claims.
Contact our asbestos lawyers today and find out about our no win no fee guarantee.