Calls for bet­ter as­bestos aware­ness

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS | YOUR SAY -

AT LEAST 166 Queens­lan­ders were di­ag­nosed with mesothe­lioma last year – the rare and fa­tal can­cer caused by ex­po­sure to as­bestos.

Af­ter a new re­port re­leased by the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Health and Wel­fare last week showed Queens­land had the sec­ond high­est rate of new mesothe­lioma cases in the year, 3.3 per 100,000 peo­ple, Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land has called for re­newed aware­ness of the risks of as­bestos.

Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land CEO Chris McMil­lan said As­bestos Aware­ness Week from Novem­ber 19–25 pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for trades­peo­ple and home ren­o­va­tors to find out how to work safely with as­bestos ma­te­ri­als be­fore they started work.

“When breathed in, as­bestos fi­bres raise a per­son’s risk of de­vel­op­ing as­bestos-re­lated diseases, in­clud­ing mesothe­lioma,” Ms McMil­lan said.

“Sadly, there is no cure yet for mesothe­lioma and due to its ag­gres­sive na­ture, those di­ag­nosed of­ten have a very poor prog­no­sis.”

The av­er­age time between di­ag­no­sis and death in Aus­tralia is around 11 months.

“If you’re not sure whether some­thing is an as­bestos con­tain­ing ma­te­rial, and it was built or ren­o­vated be­fore 1990, as­sume it is un­til you have it con­firmed by an ex­pert and if it needs to be re­moved, en­gage a li­censed as­bestos re­moval­ist.”

Visit worksafe.qld.gov.au for in­for­ma­tion about as­bestos re­moval and car­ry­ing out as­bestos-re­lated work.

— Chris McMil­lan, Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land CEO

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