Posted on November 1, 2019

Every year, Australians dedicate the last week in November to asbestos awareness, education, and remembrance to those who have lost their lives from preventable asbestos-caused diseases. We at ADAO honor this week as well by sharing stories of those impacted by these deadly, yet preventable, diseases. 

Even though all six forms of asbestos have been banned in Australia, asbestos-related disease continues to affect lives, because “legacy” asbestos remains, yet to be safely removed from old buildings. With home renovations and DIY projects, deadly asbestos fibers can get dislodged into the air and cause life-threatening health effects, especially by those who have not taken precautions to protect themselves. Even the smallest amount of asbestos dust can be lethal – it is crucial to be aware of the dangers and use proper protection methods.

The observance of Australia’s annual event comes on the heels of the publication of Asbestos in Australia: From Boom to Dust, a new book by Lenore Layman and Gail Phillips. This new work provides an in-depth look at Australia’s history with asbestos, often much more complex than it is made out to be. Despite the country’s federal ban in 1967, asbestos remains an issue in the country.

Meanwhile, Union Aid Abroad APHEDA has been actively campaigning in South East Asia to see asbestos banned and eradicated. Their successful  ‘Asbestos. Not here. Not anywhere.’ campaign focuses on working with unions and Occupational Health and Safety community groups in Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to achieve their goal of achieving an asbestos ban.

This year, ADAO will feature seven Australian “Share Your Stories” each day of the week.

Monday, November 18: Lou’s Story: “I Will Not Die in Vain”

Tuesday, November 19: Barry’s Story: “Nothing Short Of A Miracle”

Wednesday, November 20: Anita’s Story: “Women and Mesothelioma”

Thursday, November 21: Steve’s Story: “Mesothelioma Can’t Take That Away”

Friday, November 22: Mary’s Story: “Put a Smile On”

Saturday, November 23: Gary’s Story: “Faded Away” 

Sunday, November 24: Jim’s Story: “An Enormous Shock”

ADAO sends our support to all who make Australia Asbestos Awareness Week possible. We admire Australia’s ongoing commitment to asbestos education and advocacy to protect public health, both nationally and globally.

Together, change is possible.


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