Asbestos is one of Australia’s most dangerous materials. Not only can it cause a wide range of cancers, such as asbestosis, symptoms may only manifest 30 or 40 years from the time of inhalation.
While many people have turned to asbestosis claims to ensure their standard of living does not change, a recent report shows that the number of cases has levelled off in recent times.
Housing an increasing source of asbestos exposure
Researchers from the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth have found that the overall rate of asbestos-related cancers has slowed since importation and production of the fibre was banned in 2004. However, as it was used as home insulation in the 1960s and 70s, asbestos has become a common discovery in domestic homes.
In fact, the report found that while rates were worst for miners and builders, exposure is increasingly occurring at home. New cases are arising that deviate from the norm and include tenants and residents of affected homes.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor and lead researcher Arthur Musk pointed out that improper asbestos removal is a major cause of these new cases. He also highlighted that exposure, no matter where or for how long, was always a risk.
“The reason asbestos was so good to industry … was that it’s indestructible,” Professor Musk said. “Once the fibres get down into the lung, they don’t go away. So the risk of getting mesothelioma continues to increase for 30 or 40 years after you’ve breathed in the stuff.”
Asbestos claims on the decline
Statistics from the report show that new cases of malignant mesothelioma in Australia have plateaued at approximately 50 per million per annum in men. The rate for women is significantly less, decreasing by tenfold.
However, with the legacy of companies like Mr Fluffy still evident in Australian homes, it is essential that homeowners, tenants and landlords stay vigilant.
Like all forms of injury, if you have been negatively impacted by this material, you may be able to seek compensation. As such, it’s important to seek the expert advice of an asbestos lawyer.
At Gerard Malouf and Partners, our lawyers have experience working with people affected by asbestos-related diseases. We can partner you with a medical expert to ensure that the courts take into account the seriousness of your condition.
If you would like to know more about asbestos claims, contact one of our solicitors today.