One issue that is never far from the front pages of Australia’s news sources is asbestos and the risk of illnesses such as mesothelioma it poses to anyone exposed.
The following is a roundup of the asbestos-related news making headlines this week.
Women to account for 50 per cent of mesothelioma cases
A recent study published by ‘The Asbestos Narratives’ and reported on by Echonetdaily reveals the “third wave” of people being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses is almost upon us, and that “women are likely to form a significant proportion” of this group.
As is stands, reveals ABC News, women account for around 20 per cent of mesothelioma and other cases. The study from Professor Rick van der Zwan of the Southern Cross University states this could rise to 50 per cent.
In addition to this, Professor van der Zwan said the “third wave” of sufferers is likely to be made up of more home renovators than those who were exposed to the deadly substance at work.
“Everything that’s in place now around asbestos is associated with acquiring the disease in a workplace, and that’s not going to be the case for the people in the third wave of exposure,” he told ABC News.
Following the release of Professor van der Zwan’s research, an interactive online community that offers support to “sufferers, their families and carers” was set up, reports Echonetdaily.
Port Kembla Stack revealed to be asbestos-free
When the iconic Port Kembla Stack was demolished in February, there were concerns the structure contained asbestos. Despite the owner’s numerous protestations to the contrary, as well as numerous tests, the public continued to fear for its safety.
However, it appears those fears were unfounded. The Illawara Mercury reported on Friday (March 21) that no asbestos was found in the debris, though there were trace amounts of arsenic and iron in the dust.
Origin Energy pulls plug on coal seam gas drilling
The Sydney Morning Herald revealed that an “asbestos scare” put a stop to coal seam gas drilling on 12 sites around Queensland last week. The news source conjectured this would “likely add to concerns” already present about this type of extraction.
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