The ABC’s mini-series Devil’s Dust has once again highlighted the horrific toll wrought on the Australian public by the companies behind asbestos.
The fact we’re now seeing people as young as 30 and 40 diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases shows this is not an issue of the past, with many believing asbestos will have its biggest impact on the nation’s health in coming years.
It is not just asbestos workers who were and will be affected. So too were their wives, who often washed the deadly dust out of their husband’s clothes or the children who hugged them when they returned home from work each day.
We also know potentially thousands of Australians will become ill after being exposed to asbestos dust during home renovation projects and with an estimated one-in-three Australian homes still containing asbestos, more work needs to be done to raise awareness of the dangers.
Anyone contemplating do-it-yourself renovations should seek professional advice about the presence of asbestos, particularly for houses built in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. For further information visit health.vic.gov.au
Margaret Kent, asbestos law, Slater & Gordon