Australians take Precautions against Asbestos Exposure in Wake of Cyclone Yasi

In the wake of the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland, Australia this week, families returning to their homes to inspect any damages may have to worry about dealing with exposed asbestos as well.

Asbestos Diseases Foundation President Barry Robson recently told MSN’s 9News that asbestos exposure is currently a hot topic around areas that were hit by the deadly cyclone. Having caused more than $500 million in damages, many people will likely be returning to buildings that are in disrepair, and that may pose a danger.

“Asbestos is found in many Australian houses built before 1984, as well as in outbuildings and sheds on farms,” he said. “When products containing asbestos are broken or disturbed, the asbestos becomes ‘friable’ and if particles are inhaled then the disaster that has befallen so many Queensland families can be compounded.”

Australia has traditionally had one of the higher per-capita rates of mesothelioma in the world, as more than 7,000 mesothelioma deaths reported there since 1945. The use of asbestos in homes is not expected to lead a downturn in the figures any time soon, as some experts think the figure could top 39,000 deaths by 2020.

“We know that people have died in this country as a result of very small levels of exposure,” Robson said. He added that ADFA would do its part by providing advice on how to safely remove asbestos from homes to homeowners who need it.

Because countless individuals and families have used household and/or commercial products that contain asbestos fibers for much of their lives, there is a risk that some may eventually develop asbestosis, mesothelioma, or some type of lung cancer as a result. If you or a loved one is stricken with an asbestos exposure related cancer, speaking with an asbestos lawyer may help enable a lawsuit against makers of the dangerous products that could result in a substantial settlement.