400 Australians, including asbestos experts, sufferers of asbestos related diseases, and members of the public are gathered today, 26 October 2012, at an asbestos symposium in Brisbane, Queensland.
The asbestos symposium aims to raise awareness about the fact that there are thousands of tonnes of asbestos in Australia, and also inform the public of the risks associated with asbestos handling.
Information about new treatments for asbestos diseases, including mesothelioma treatment, will be available for sufferers of asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and the cancer mesothelioma.
The symposium was held because of the staggering number of asbestos victims in Brisbane, with over 1,000 Australians in Brisbane known to suffer from asbestos related diseases.
Experts estimate that the amount of unknown victims could be double this number due to the long latency period between asbestos exposure and the manifestation of an asbestos related disease. That is, because asbestos related diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma take decades to develop, Australians who were exposed to asbestos in the past might still not have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease yet.
The conference especially aims to raise asbestos awareness for home renovators, as it is important to check your house for asbestos materials before you start renovating to eliminate the risk of releasing and inhaling toxic asbestos fibres. Since asbestos materials were freely available in Australia up until 1978, all suburbs are at risk of containing houses with asbestos, and as such it is essential to contact a qualified asbestos removalist before commencing renovations.