Despite predictions, the incidence of mesothelioma (an incurable cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos) continues to rise in Australia. Increasingly this is from exposure to asbestos during DIY home renovations.
Non-occupational exposure has been described as a so called “third wave” of asbestos disease. The first wave involved people who contracted diseases from milling raw asbestos and manufacturing products containing asbestos. The second wave were people who used asbestos products in industry. The third wave is people whose exposure (often small) was as a result of home renovations.
It is conservatively estimated that one in three homes built before 1983 contain asbestos due to the extensive use of asbestos in housing products. Almost every house built in the period between the second world war and 1983 made some use of materials containing asbestos. Asbestos was used in flat sheet for internal and external walls, thick sheets for floors, roofing sheets, moulded sheets floor coverings, water and sewerage pipes and in many other ways.
There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. Even brief exposure to asbestos dust can cause mesothelioma. Sufferers have included people with a single exposure to asbestos; some were children at the time that building or renovation work involving asbestos was being carried out and may have played with the offcuts of asbestos cement sheets.
There have now been many cases that confirm the duty of care asbestos manufacturers owe to those that carried out DIY home renovations using their products.
Segelov Taylor Lawyers Can Help
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, then you should consult a lawyer with expertise in acting for people with asbestos diseases. This is a specialised area of law. An experienced lawyer will help identify an exposure to asbestos and advise you of any rights you have to claim compensation.
Tanya Segelov has acted for hundreds of sufferers of mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases over 23 years including acting for the late asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton in both his claims against his former employer, James Hardie. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact Tanya by telephone on (02) 8880 0500 or by email email@example.com to organise a time where she can confer with you at your home at our office.
We act on a “no-win no fee” basis for all asbestos claims. This means you will not be charged any money upfront and will only be charged for our legal costs if you are successful in your claim.