In the last few months, there have been quite a few developments concerning the occupational lung diseases, specifically silicosis, in Australia and overseas.
Sadly, more silicosis human stories are coming to light almost every week. The youngest person to have been diagnosed with this preventable but irreversible disease is only 22, a young stonemason on the Gold Coast.
The latest statistics, as of mid September, is 260 confirmed cases across Australia with 166 in Queensland, 61 in Victoria, 23 in NSW, five in Tasmania, three in WA, and one each in the ACT and SA. In SA there are also 66 cases where workers need specialist follow-up.
In New Zealand, the authorities are anticipating first silicosis diagnoses after issuing a silica alert in May. It is believed at least 1000 Kiwis may have been exposed to respirable silica dust in the workplace.