Asbestos Diseases Society Australia Walk for mesothelioma research

The Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia walkers and volunteers. Photo: Martin Kennealey
The Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia walkers and volunteers. Photo: Martin Kennealey

MORE than 40 people are walking from Wave Rock to Perth in memory of loved ones who have died of mesothelioma.

The Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia in Osborne Park has organised the nearly 500km journey via towns including Kulin, Narrogin, Harvey, Yarloop and Pinjarra.

A team of 40 walkers, who have lost a family member or friend to asbestos diseases, will take on the six-day trek next week along with four society staff and several support volunteers.

Chief operating officer Melita Markey said she expected more than 100 people to be part of the walk around Harvey.

“WA now has the highest incidence of malignant mesothelioma in Australia and indeed the world,” she said.

“Sadly these health impacts are projected to continue long into the foreseeable future with so many asbestos products still in use in and around our homes and workplaces.

“The walk aims to raise awareness and more funds for life-saving medical treatments which are urgently needed for victims of asbestos diseases and their families.

“We hope that the West Australian people will rally behind the walkers and donate generously to save lives.”

The society recorded 332 asbestos-caused deaths in 2017 and president Robert Vojakovic said there was no safe level of asbestos exposure.

“Mesothelioma can be contracted with only minimal exposure to asbestos from home renovations or unsafe work practices,” he said.

“Asbestos was used in commercial, public, and residential buildings in Australia from 1920 to 1987.

“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.”

Walkers will finish their journey at Parliament House in Perth on Friday, September 14.

To donate, visit www.adsawalk.org.au.