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Associated Health Risks

Health risks associated with asbestos exposure

It would be difficult to overstate the risks to your health associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos has left a legacy of chronic, often incurable disease across the entire supply chain, from its source in the mines, to the schools, homes, factories and shops where it has been used in building materials and appliances.


Diseases associated with asbestos exposure are debilitating, progressive and often result in death, such as:

  • Asbestos is: A chronic lung disease that can lead to respiratory impairment and to diseases such as lung cancer.
  • Mesothelioma: A cancer of the lining of the pleura (outer lung lining) or of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity).
  • Cancers:  Cancers of the lungs, larynx, stomach, large intestine and possibly of the ovary, breast, kidney and bone marrow. Pleural plaques: Patches of thickening of the lining of the chest wall and over the diaphragm.
  • Pleural effusion: A collection of fluid within the chest but outside the lung.


The symptoms of these diseases may not appear for many years after initial exposure, sometimes presenting only in the final stages of the disease.


There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibres. The risk of disease is minimised only if occupational and public health regulations relating to the handling of asbestos are fully observed (refer to references /links).


ARSNSW can help you manage the asbestos risk.