Be aware, stay alive

TOO many people in the community remain unconcerned about asbestos exposure despite an abundance of information, according to local residents.

This week is Asbestos Awareness Week, and while there are no promotional events in Swan Hill, local Vickie Hull said it was still important for people to constantly be aware of the dangers of asbestos.

Ms Hull's partner Joe died from Plural Mesothelioma — a malignant cancer caused by asbestos exposure — ten months ago, fourteen months after being diagnosed with the disease.

Since his passing, Ms Hull has been working with Melbourne based not-for-profit organisation Asbestoswise to try and raise awareness of asbestos related diseases in the local region.

She said people in the community were too blasé about the issue, partly because of the long dormancy periods associated with exposure related diseases.

"I shrugged it off too, until I was faced with it," she said.

There are four known health conditions related to asbestos, including lung cancer, plural plaques and mesothelioma.

Asbestosis is the most common affliction, and takes 15 to 30 years for symptoms to appear.

For more on this story, see this Friday's edition of The Guardian (30/11/12).

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