Over 27,000 tons of asbestos debris has been illegally dumped on a farm in upstate New York, resulting in the conviction of two men.
The asbestos debris was demolition material that had been shredded without the asbestos being removed. The dumping of asbestos is illegal in America, and also in Australia, as it is a known carcinogen that can cause asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis and the cancer mesothelioma.
The NBC revealed that prosecutors said that when agents arrived at the asbestos site they saw fresh bicycle marks on top of the asbestos piles, suggesting that children had been using the site and could have inhaled deadly asbestos fibres.
Unfortunately it is impossible to tell whether the children inhaled the asbestos, as asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma have a long latency period, meaning that if mesothelioma were to occur it would not manifest for decades.
There have been mesothelioma compensation claims in Australia involving children being exposed to asbestos from playing on asbestos debris. A terrible case occurred in New South Wales where mesothelioma compensation was claimed by a lady in her early 30s following exposure she had as a child in the West Australian blue asbestos mine at Wittenoom. Another case, being an asbestos compensation case in South Australia, occurred when a lady was also exposed to asbestos as a child.
Australia currently has one of the highest incidences of mesothelioma despite the official ban of asbestos use Australia-wide in 2004. This is because Australia was the highest user of asbestos per capita between around 1950 and 1980.
As such, many Australian states including NSW, Victoria and South Australia have introduced legislation to assist those suffering asbestos conditions pursue an asbestos compensation claim, such as a mesothelioma compensation claim, in Australia.