A FUNDRAISING trek to train the next generation of researchers and clinicians working on a cure for asbestos-related diseases was well supported in York and Northam.
The Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia (ADSA) hike from Merredin to Perth featured community ‘walk around towns’ en route, with locals completing as many laps as they could in four hours.
Money raised from the event will help fund a research scholarship in mesothelioma led by Anna Nowak and her team at UWA.
ADSA president Robert Vojakovic said in 2016 the charity recorded 300 asbestos-caused deaths.
He said the epidemic of asbestos diseases in WA affected people from all walks of life in greater numbers as each year ended.
“Asbestos was used in commercial, public, and residential buildings in Australia from 1920 to 1987 and indeed, recent illegal imports have also been used in our buildings,” he said.
“For many years to come carcinogenic asbestos fibres will remain in the community and it is essential that people are aware of what they need to do to reduce the risks for themselves and their families.”
He said there was no safe level of exposure and mesothelioma could be contracted with minimal exposure to asbestos from home renovations or unsafe work practices.
Professor Nowak and her team joined the trekkers and their supporters on September 15 for the final leg of the walk to Parliament House.
The fundraising will continue until November 30 and end with a cheque presentation at the ADSA Christmas picnic in December.
To find out more or make a donation, visit www.asbestosdiseases.org.au.