Asbestos claims likely to rise among Australian sugar workersThe number of asbestos compensation claims filed by sugar-industry workers in Australia is expected to rise, as more individuals are diagnosed with related illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer.
One asbestos attorney told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that asbestos was utilized as an insulator in sugar mills during the 1980s, meaning thousands of north Queensland workers may have been exposed at one time.
A recent case involving a man who worked at a Proserpine sugar mill in Queensland resulted in asbestos compensation being awarded to the man's family, according to the news source. Andrew Fraser, who worked in the mills, was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died in 2009, the news source said.
The Mackay Daily Mercury reports Fraser served as a laborer on a demolition team at the Proserpine mill for approximately six months in 1982. He passed away just six months after his mesothelioma diagnosis.
Australia reportedly has the highest incidence rate of mesothelioma in the world. Across the globe, asbestos-related illnesses claim the lives of approximately 107,000 individuals each year, according to estimates from the World Health Organization.