SUFFERERS of asbestos related diseases will breathe easier thanks to a new breathing machine at the Asbestos Disease Society Australia (ADSA) in Osborne Park.
The $10,000 breathing machine, or spirometer, was funded by donations from ADSA supporters and will help with early detection of lung disease.
ADSA president Robert Vojakovic said early detection was vital.
“Early detection is really important a lot of people are dying needlessly,” he said.
“We lost in excess of 300 people last year (from asbestos related diseases).
“Now is a crucial time because asbestos ceased to be used in products about 1987 and the latency period for asbestos related diseases is about 30 years, now we can see steady increase people coming in with exposure so many years later from things like home renovations.”
ADSA chief operating officer Melita Markey said the organisation thanked the generous donations from the community.
“This spirometer will enable us to really establish ourselves as the peak body for asbestos related diseases,” she said.
“It will enable individuals who fear for their health after being exposed to asbestos to come and get tested and we can actually take their results and refer them to the appropriate specialists as well as feed their data to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.”
Balcatta MLA David Michael said increasing awareness about asbestos exposure in homes was vital and planned to deliver a $25,000 revamp to the ASDA waiting room and kitchen this financial year.
“Having doorknocked 8000 houses in the last year, this problem is not going to end with people who worked at Wittenoom,” he said.
“There is so much asbestos in the community, I’ve lived in an asbestos house for 37 years.
“Knowing this machine was coming meant the promise of a comfortable upgraded kitchen was a no brainer for me.”