Tag Archives: Australia

Mesothelioma Nurses Ready for New Cases in Australia

Australia is bracing for an expected new wave of mesothelioma cases in the next decade and the Lung Foundation of Australia is taking action now to get ready. The Foundation has paid for ten nurses from around the country to receive specialized training in helping patients and families cope with mesothelioma. The nurses, who have recently completed the training, are now equipped to lead treatment planning for these complex cancer patients and to help other nurses do the same. Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that occurs in the lining around the lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos dust, a toxin that was once alarmingly prevalent in Australia where it was mined and heavily used in construction. Because … Continue reading Mesothelioma Nurses Ready for New Cases in Australia »

Australian Electricians Fear Mesothelioma Risk

Calling the modification of electrical meter boxes a “game changer”, an official from Australia’s largest electricians union says workers should refuse to do it until the dangerous boxes have been inspected. Allen Hicks, Assistant National Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union, told the Sydney Morning Herald that asbestos-containing meter boxes are being modified more frequently because of renovations and that too many workers are not adequately protected against mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. The warning, which centers on the meter boxes in homes built before 1983, was issued after a New South Wales electrical company instructed its workers to wear masks around the boxes to minimize asbestos and mesothelioma risk. When the Electrical Trades Union learned of the warning, they advised … Continue reading Australian Electricians Fear Mesothelioma Risk »

Australian Registry Releases First Mesothelioma Report

The first report using data from the newly-established Australian Mesothelioma Registry has been released, and the new is not good – especially for the country’s blue collar workers. According to the report from Safe Work Australia, a health and safety advocacy group for the country’s building industry, the Australian Mesothelioma Registry recorded 612 new cases of mesotheliomain 2011. The new national registry became operational in 2011 with a goal of recording and tracking all new mesothelioma cases. The purpose of the registry is to help spot trends, provide research data, etc. Six hundred and twelve new cases in 2011 equates to a rate of 2.7 mesothelioma cases per 100,000 people. However, Safe Work Australia cautions that the number is likely to … Continue reading Australian Registry Releases First Mesothelioma Report »

Australian Study Reveals New Mesothelioma Biomarker

A large multi-center Australian study has revealed what researchers say could be an important new biomarker for malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer of internal body membranes usually caused by exposure to asbestos. As with other cancers, mesothelioma cells produce certain compounds at higher levels than healthy cells do. Micro RNAs, or miRNAs, are short chains of ribonucleic acid, some of which are produced in abundance by cancer cells. Using miRNA microarrays, the Australian researchers profiled plasma samples from patients with malignant mesothelioma and from healthy controls. After reviewing 90 miRNAs previously associated with mesothelioma, they found two – miR-29c and miR-92a – in particularly high amounts. Further testing found a total of 15 novel miRNAs in the plasma of … Continue reading Australian Study Reveals New Mesothelioma Biomarker »

Unions Call for Asbestos-Free Australia

The head of an Australian Consortium of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling on the government to protect its citizens against mesothelioma by ridding the country of asbestos by 2030. Ged Kearney is president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which represents construction unions and made the call on the ACTU website. Because asbestos was mined in Australia and in Australian buildings and cement from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, people who work in mining, construction and ship building trades are at higher risk for asbestos-linked diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. According to the ACTU, Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The Australian government banned the use of asbestos … Continue reading Unions Call for Asbestos-Free Australia »

Australian Court: Asbestos Company Directors Guilty

After a legal battle that lasted more than ten years and prompted a made-for-TV movie in Australia, seven former corporate directors were recently found guilty of lying to employees and the public about mesothelioma compensation. Building product company James Hardie Industries was Australia’s biggest producer of asbestos cement and had manufactured asbestos products of various kinds since the 1930’s. In 2001, it moved its operation overseas, leaving behind a trust fund for Australian workers whose asbestos exposure at work put them at risk of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. The company publicly stated that this mesothelioma compensation fund was ‘fully funded’ and would provide ‘certainty’ for current and future mesothelioma victims. In fact, the fund was on the verge of … Continue reading Australian Court: Asbestos Company Directors Guilty »

Australia’s Mesothelioma Fight Comes to Television

Australia’s ongoing mesothelioma problem will soon be the subject of a two-part television miniseries. Produced by Australia’s ABC network and starring some of the country’s most respected actors, “The Devils Dust” tells the story of mesothelioma victim Bernie Banton.  Banton was a long time employee of James Hardie, an Australian manufacturer of fiber cement building products.  For years, the company added asbestos to its cement to increase its strength and durability.  After Banton was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 1999, he became an advocate for mesothelioma sufferers throughout the country. Although mesothelioma cases like Banton’s are tragically common in Australia, Banton’s case was brought into the national spotlight largely because of the book “Killer Company”, by journalist Matt Peacock.  It was Peacock … Continue reading Australia’s Mesothelioma Fight Comes to Television »

Actor’s Death Highlights Mesothelioma Risk in Australia

An Australian film actor best known in the U.S. for playing opposite Mel Gibson in Gallipoli has died ofmesothelioma.  Harold Hopkins died in a Sydney hospital where he was receiving hospice care.  He was 67 years old. Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin tissue around internal organs.  It is often considered an occupational disease, since many people come into contact with the asbestos that causes it while working in various industrial settings.  Although actors are not typically thought to be at high risk for mesothelioma, Hopkins reportedly encountered asbestos long before his acting career began.  According to Australia’s Daily Telegraph, he was exposed to asbestos as early as the 1960’s while working his first job after high school … Continue reading Actor’s Death Highlights Mesothelioma Risk in Australia »

Study Confirms Mesothelioma Danger for Home Renovators

An Australian study reconfirms that performing home renovations on homes built before the 1980’s can put a person at increased risk for mesothelioma if proper precautions are not taken. Australian workers unions that have been vocal in recent months about the risk of mesothelioma to home renovators now have a published study to back them up.  Researchers from the University of Western Australia have just published a study on the incidence of malignant mesothelioma in their region and the news is not good. Using the Western Australian Mesothelioma Register, the team reviewed all cases of malignant mesothelioma diagnosed in western Australia from 1960 to the end of 2008 and determined the primary source of asbestos exposure in each case. Of the … Continue reading Study Confirms Mesothelioma Danger for Home Renovators »

Rise in Mesothelioma Linked to Australian Asbestos Mine

The asbestos-linked cancer mesothelioma is growing at an alarming pace in part of Australia and the government is coming under fire for not doing enough to fight the source of the problem. According to a report in the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun, the number of people killed by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in New South Wales will soon overtake the number of people killed in car accidents. Ombudsman Bruce Barbour told the newspaper that the annual total of accident victims of 397 in NSW in 2008 would soon be “dwarfed” by the number of people dying from asbestos cancers. By 2020, the country is expected to see 13,000 cases of mesothelioma annually and 40,000 cases of other asbestos-related … Continue reading Rise in Mesothelioma Linked to Australian Asbestos Mine »