Australian asbestos research

New research from Western Australia has shown that mesothelioma and asbestosis are not the only diseases asbestos victims should be worried about.

The Australian researchers studied a test group of 2,500 children, and have revealed that children who are exposed to blue asbestos (crocidolite) during childhood have increased risk of a range of diseases, not just those usually associated with asbestos such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.

The test group lived at Wittenoom, a town in Western Australia that once mined blue asbestos. The study, which is published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, shows that these children have an increased risk of not only mesothelioma, but also brain cancer, heart disease and nervous disorders, as well as ovarian cancer in women, and colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia in men.

Clearly this is a study which may or may not be right. Any individual medical advice about asbestos conditions should be obtained from a properly qualified specialist.

Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos products worldwide between 1950 and 1980, with the use of asbestos only being banned in Australia in 2004. However because of the large lag time between exposure to asbestos and development of an asbestos related disease, asbestos compensation claims (including mesothelioma compensation claims) are not expected to peak in Australia until 2020.

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