DID YOU KNOW… Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre found in rock formations. It is a strong, heat resistant material that had insulating properties. It was mined in a number of Australian States until 1983. It was officially banned from use in building products in Australia in the early to mid 1980's. However, it was not until 31 December 2003 that it became illegal to import, store, supply, sell, install, use or re-use these materials in Australia.
Before its prohibition, asbestos was used extensively in industry and building products.
Despite these bans, the incidence of the diseases and deaths that asbestos causes is not expected to peak until 2020. The disturbance of the fibres in building and other products through home renovations and related works is predicted to be the cause of the next generation of asbestos disease sufferers.
Exposure to asbestos can cause diseases such as Asbestosis, Asbestos Related Pleural Disease, Mesothelioma and some types of lung cancer up to 40 years later. The fibre can lay within a persons system for decades without causing a problem. The first sign of an asbestos related disease is usually increasing breathlessness and difficulty breathing.
An extensive compensation system for asbestos diseases exists in all Australian states. In NSW, the Dust Diseases Tribunal is a specialist court which deals with diseases caused by asbestos and other dusts.
If you have a respiratory problem which may be related to your exposure to asbestos or other dusts, you may be entitled to compensation. If you would like to know more about your potential rights, please click on the following link [link to dust disease content], email us on our "Ask Us a Question" feature or call 4228 8288 to speak to one of our specialist compensation lawyers.