"Mesothelioma" is a death sentence and Australia has the highest per capita rate of Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Diseases in the World!
Inhalation of the dust is the real problem. Asbestos is known to cause fatal mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as being associated with cancer of the colon, vocal chords, rectum and kidneys. Repeated exposure will cause asbestosis!
Long term health effects can occur at any time after the initial exposure, often after the exposure has ceased and can take as long as 7 to 50 years to become apparent. Asbestos can be found in the form of cement sheeting, boards, wall and floor panels, partitions and pipes, brake linings, clutch facings, electrical and thermal insulation. It is particularly "friable" or respirable, in the form of "limpet" sprayed asbestos and is usually found on beams in older buildings.
If you find asbetos on your job, ring the union on (07) 3231 4600 or contact your site delegate or organiser. If you have been exposed to it, remove all your contaminated clothing and double bag it. Wash yourself thoroughly before you go home. Asbestos fibres DO NOT wash out of clothes and if you take it home it is possible that the people you live with can also be exposed!
If is vitally important that any member who knows, or believes, that they have been exposed to Asbestos in the workplace make a "Notification Claim" to WorkCover immediately. (see below)
The Asbestos Related Disease Support Society Qld Inc. (ARDSSQ) is made up of people who have an asbestos related disease, their families, friends and carers as well as unions, asbestos industry representatives and related government departments. They are able to provide information in relation to medical treatment, legal advice, moral support, possible compensation, advice on safely removing asbestos etc. A link to their website is provided below.
Don't take it lightly - Asbestos Kills!
Visit our Youtube Channel and see CFMEU Workplace Health & Safety Coordinator, Andrew Ramsay being interviewed about safety on building sites, sun safety and asbestos.