Medical professionals are gearing up for what has been identified as a ‘third wave’ of asbestos related diseases.
Residential renovators who handled the dangerous material in years gone by and those who were housed or schooled in environments built from fibrous cement or using “fluffy insulation” are beginning to present with symptoms of dust-borne diseases such as mesothelioma.
This cancer has no known cure and is only caused by asbestos – with just mild exposure necessary for a minute amount of suspended particles to make its way into a victim’s lungs.
The unfortunate individuals who suffer from these conditions are usually unaware of their initial contact with the hazardous substance – as they did not handle asbestos products regularly or have contact with mine-related work.
In many cases they are not even professional tradespeople who may have come into contact through working on older properties – they are just members of the public who helped with a home renovation or demolition.
Chest physician Professor Bruce Robinson asserted: “The third wave is people in the street, someone who did a renovation or was exposed in a classroom.
“The most difficult thing for me is seeing the ones with kids and telling them the diagnosis.”
Government subsidies that support expert asbestos removal go a long way to reducing exposure to the deadly substance, but it gives little comfort to those already affected.
According to Robinson: “It’s low intensity, but there are millions who have been exposed.”
Advances in mesothelioma detection and treatments can help to improve the quality of life experienced by victims – with a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy stimulating the body’s defences and potentially providing a better result in the long term.
Robinson stated: “It’s a disease which in its earliest stages is localised within the lung. Take that part out, and you should be able to cure it.”
Mining corporation James Hardie currently provides $500,000 a year towards mesothelioma research and has previously put $4 billion towards a trust that provides funds to compensate asbestos victims.
These are made available to help sufferers and their families to pay for ongoing medical treatments and to offset the differences in the quality of life that they may experience.
A compensation lawyer is usually the first stop for these kinds of claims – giving victims the opportunity to explore their legal options before deciding on a course of action.
Using a no win no fee law firm can also help to reduce the initial expense of this kind of personal injury claims.