Over the past three decades,  thousands of do-it-yourself homeowners and renovators have unknowingly risked contracting the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma

Cleveland, Ohio (MesotheliomaCancerNews.com) — Over the past three decades,  thousands of do-it-yourself homeowners and renovators have unknowingly risked contracting the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma, an aggressive and terminal form of asbestosis, the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia said.

The president the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia, Barry Robson, said since the early 1980s, renovators make up the “third wave” of mesothelioma victims.

“What we’re seeing now are thousands and thousands of mums and dads who didn’t know the danger of asbestos and were exposed to it when doing their home renovations and DIY projects. [We are also seeing] the kids who were hanging around when dad put up a new carport, a chook pen, or BBQ area.”

Mesothelioma can sit virtually silent in the body for up to 30 years or more, with the victim only having been exposed to asbestos for a short period of time, and can kill within months of diagnosis. Asbestos has been banned in the cement sheeting used in the construction industry in many countries across the globe.

Despite that ban, Robson said the recent popularity of do-it-yourself home renovation had made the risk of exposure extremely common to those who renovate all types of homes, including brick houses, in which asbestos is commonly used to waterproof bathrooms and in linoleum weave.

“The first wave of asbestos-related diseases took place from the 1930s, when asbestos was first manufactured. The second wave began in the 1950s, when the likes of Bernie Banton and his colleagues at Hardies were exposed to asbestos particles, as were thousands of wharfies, electricians, carpenters and mechanics. The third wave is the home renovators.”

Robson said the second wave of asbestos and mesothelioma victims are expected to succumb to their diseases between 2010 and 2015, however the third-wave group of mesothelioma victims is expected to rise dramatically through 2030.

Whereas the first two groups of victims were mainly men in the construction industry, Robson said the foundation expects a far larger number of new cases to be among women. This estimate is supported by the 2007 report by the Cancer Institute that indicated a 20 per cent increase of mesothelioma among women up to 2011.

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