The Health Disaster
There can be no doubt that asbestos has been the cause of a health disaster. The lethal mineral has left a legacy of disease in both the workplaces where it was mined and manufactured and in the factories, shops, schools and homes where it was used in building materials and appliances.
The major asbestos-related diseases are asbestosis, caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust and lung cancer and mesothelioma both of which manifest themselves years later and can be triggered by minimal exposure.
Thus Australia has seen successive waves of asbestos-related diseases as the poison has spread throughout the environment from workplaces to the home. With its pervasiveness in the wider community, asbestos is posing an increasing threat to the general population. The death toll from mesothelioma is not expected to peak until 2020.
Click on the links below to read more about the history of the health disaster.