On Wednesday, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released data regarding the incidence of mesothelioma in Australia in the last year.

Mesothelioma is the terminal asbestos related cancer, which occurs most often in the pleura of the lung or peritoneum. Importantly, there is only one known cause of mesothelioma, asbestos exposure.

One of the highest rates of mesothelioma

Australia, as a country, has one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world with Western Australia having the highest rate per capita. Reportedly, last year alone 699 people died from mesothelioma.   Sadly, we believe the number was a lot higher with many people not reporting their diagnoses.  Data indicates the majority of sufferers were male, around 75 years of age and were men exposed to asbestos in an occupation and non-occupational setting. While this is true, it is important to remember that mesothelioma affects women as well as men of different ages.

It has long been reported that Australia’s asbestos use peaked between 1970 and 1979 with Australia using around 700,000 metric tons of asbestos during this period. Given the latency period of 10 to 50 years+ from exposure to diagnosis we expect to continue to see the incidence of mesothelioma continue to increase in the future.

With Western Australia’s heavy reliance on asbestos cement building products and our ever lasting legacy of Wittenoom, it is important if you experience any of the following symptoms that you request your general practitioner refer you for high resolution CT scan at first instance:-

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • weight loss
  • night sweats

If you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with mesothelioma (or any other asbestos related disease such as asbestosis or pleural thickening) it is imperative, you seek legal advice. Asbestos litigation is complex, as can be locating a viable exposure period for which a claim can be brought.  Therefore, it is important you have the right lawyers to represent you.

We can help

Call our asbestos lawyers today for an obligation free discussion regarding you or your loved ones’ compensation entitlements. We act on a “no win, no fee basis” meaning there are no legal costs if you do not have a claim or do not wish to proceed with a claim.

We would be more than pleased to meet with you at your home, in hospital/hospice or where ever will make you feel most comfortable.