Asbestos has a way of appearing after natural disasters. As this blog has noted, there were concerns in the United States after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast.
Another example is last week’s Tropical Cyclone Rusty, which struck the South Pacific. It caused flooding and building damage in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. This has also raised the risk of asbestos exposure, notes an article in the Australia-based News.com.au Web site.
“There’s a real concern that residents may start the clean-up process without appropriate protection, and this is a timely reminder for residents that it’s better to be overly cautious when dealing with anything you think could contain asbestos,” said an Australian asbestos lawyer. He claims that more than 260 West Australians die from asbestos-related illnesses every year.
Australia, like the United States and many other industrialized nations, widely used asbestos in the construction and shipbuilding industries, to name just two. Asbestos offers durability and versatility, and is fire and heat resistant. Australians widely deployed it until the mid-1980s, when its toxic properties became more widely known.
“You should assume that if your home is built before then [the mid-1980s] there’s a definite risk,” the attorney said.
Even though all asbestos is potentially lethal, several types were widely mined and used in Australia. These included the notoriously deadly blue asbestos (crocidolite), mined in the now-toxic ghost town of Wittenoom. Asbestos can cause a range of diseases, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-caused disease, you may be entitled to financial compensation through an asbestos lawsuit. To learn more about your legal options, please Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation.