Asbestos-related diseases, once thought of as illnesses that mostly strike older people who once worked at job sites that heavily relied on asbestos, are affecting home renovators and others in Australia, who aren’t necessarily associated with the typical ways that asbestos illnesses are usually contracted.
According to Nico van Zandwijk, a professor at the Asbestos Research Institute, an alarming number of people are developing asbestos diseases who never worked in the factories, mills, asbestos mines, and other job sites that were once associated with asbestos use prior to strict regulations on its use. For instance, many homemakers and children, including women who have never worked at job sites containing asbestos, are developing illnesses after being exposed to asbestos fibers during routine home renovations and maintenance procedures. Home renovators, maintenance workers, and handy men who provide renovation and maintenance work are also being diagnosed with asbestos diseases at a higher rate than ever before.
Per a study conducted by the Medical Journal of Australia, at least 60% of “do-it-yourself” (DYI) home renovators in Australia state that they have come into contact with asbestos while doing renovations, and at least 53% of their spouses and 43% of their children have, as well. The journal also states that malignant mesothelioma cases among women in Australia have increased by 35% between 2005 to 2008, a sharp increase from only 10% in the 1990s.
Seek Medical Assistance if You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos
Experts urge everyone who may have come into contact with asbestos to get ongoing medical check-ups as soon as possible. What was once thought of as an illnesses that only affects older people, it’s important to note that mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases can affect anyone at any age. According to the Cancer Council WA, one of the biggest issues is that many people have simply forgotten or have been misinformed about asbestos. The first wave of asbestos victims consisted of workers in asbestos mines, while the second wave consisted of those working in buildings and sites that once relied heavily on asbestos. However, since it’s been more than 30 years since asbestos was regulated, many people have forgotten about its impact, and now the third wave of victims are suffering the consequences.
Around two out of three homes that were built between World War II and the 1980s still contain asbestos in construction products, tiles, insulation, old appliances, and more. When home renovations or repairs are made on these homes, asbestos fibers may become airborne, and since these fibers are small, odorless, and undetectable to the human eye, anyone in the vicinity is susceptible of inhaling or ingesting the tiny fibers. This is not only a problem in Australia, but in the United States as well, where a myriad of homes that were built prior to the mid 1980s were made with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
Meanwhile, Australia’s Cancer Council is asking the government to create a registry that establishes the locations of homes that were built with ACMs, and in turn, educate those who live in these houses. Although most houses with asbestos are considered safe unless asbestos is disturbed, the problem with older homes is that no one ever knows when something will break or when a natural disaster will strike and stir up asbestos fibers.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. For more than 20 years, we have helped families successfully connect to experienced mesothelioma attorneys. We invite you to fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the top mesothelioma attorneys in your area.