Australia’s peak body for lung health professionals is demanding a national response after hearing that work-related lung diseases are on the rise. The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) issued an official alert; workers who are regularly exposed to dusts may be at serious risk of developing a lung disease, and workplaces must do more to protect the health of their workers.
The alert comes after the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology Congress 2017, where international and national experts discussed the spike of new silicosis cases in relatively young tradespeople across the country. Alarmingly, the TSANZ say silicosis is just one of a number of occupational lung diseases that is making a comeback.
Professor Allan Glanville, president of TSANZ, said these lung diseases should be a thing of the past, but that poor workplace controls were allowing their resurgence. “This resurgence in occupational lung diseases should have clinicians, tradespeople, and industry on alert. These are diseases we thought had almost been eradicated, but, thanks to exposure to high levels of dust and poor control measures, they’re resurfacing.”
“To make matters worse, the disease progression is much faster than we’ve seen before, and the people affected much younger. We need a national response.”
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