Lismore help for asbestos victims

THE late Bernie Banton may be the best-known victim of asbestosis and mesothelioma, but there are thousands of others who have died from the illness and still more continuing to suffer from exposure to the deadly dust.

While the James Hardie company fled overseas in what many believe was an attempt to avoid paying victims' compensation, asbestos was still being used in some common building products as late as the 1990s.

“You used to only see victims who worked for James Hardie, but now we are starting to find it in younger people who have been renovating and children who were around when their parents were building,” secretary of the Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Support Group, Nick Bos, said.

Mr Bos and his group are this morning holding a conference for victims and their families at the Lismore Workers Club.

He said as more retirees were moving to the Northern Rivers, the number of people suffering from cancers related to asbestos exposure was increasing. And while medical advances have extended the life expediency for many by a couple of years, when they do die their families are left to pick up the pieces.

Speakers at today's conference are respiratory physician Dr Paul Laird, physiotherapist Alison Ford and Turner Freeman lawyer Thady Blundell.

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