New Zealand Respiratory Conference 2014. Asbestos and Public Health in Canterbury Dr. Alistair Humphrey, with thanks to Professor Bill Glass Medical Officer of Health for Canterbury, New Zealand Ministry of Health . What is asbestos?. A naturally occurring mineral in different forms:
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Asbestos and Public Health in Canterbury
Dr. Alistair Humphrey, with thanks to Professor Bill Glass
Medical Officer of Health for Canterbury, New Zealand Ministry of Health
Philip Noble and Ross Munroe, Wittenoom, 1953
22(1) Every DHB has the following objectives:
To improve, promote and protect
the health of people and communities.
23(h) To promote
the reduction of adverse social and environmental effects
on the health of people and communities.
5 Object of Act
The object of this Act is to promote the prevention of harm to all persons at work and other persons in, or in the vicinity of, a place of work
7 Identification of hazards
(1) Every employer shall ensure that there are in place effective methods for—
(a) systematically identifying existing hazards
(b) systematically identifying (if possible before, and otherwise as they arise) new hazards
8 Significant hazards to employees to be eliminated if practicable
Where there is a significant hazard, the employer shall take all practicable steps to eliminate it.
Risk Assessment for Asbestos-RelatedCancer From the 9/11 Attack on the World Trade Center
Robert P. Nolan, PhD
Malcolm Ross, PhD
Gordon L. Nord, PhD
Charles W. Axten, PhD
Jeffrey P. Osleeb, PhD
Stanislav G. Domnin, MD, DSc
Bertram Price, PhD
Richard Wilson, DPhil
The upper limit for the expected number of asbestos-related cancers is less than one case over the lifetime of the population
NYC 9/11 – Peak of 50f/ml
ChCh 22/2 - Peak of 1f/ml 50m from sites
What is EQC’s policy on the encasement of damaged asbestos ceilings in homes?
232 cases of mesothelioma
124 cases of lung cancer
294 cases of asbestosis
649 cases of pleural abnormalities
are now presenting with asbestos-related diseases
and dying from mesothelioma.
In the course of our investigations we heard from experts that even though, historically, it was the workers in the asbestos industries who had contracted asbestos related diseases, several additional waves are now occurring. Tradesmen, home renovators and innocent bystanders are now presenting with asbestos-related diseases and dying from mesothelioma. In some cases, those deaths have resulted from minimal contact with asbestos which occurred years before the diagnosis. For example, a woman in South Australia developed mesothelioma in her early thirties from an exposure that occurred as a child while playing near bonded asbestos being worked on by her father*. There are many similar stories about people dying from non-occupational exposure to asbestos in circumstances which were previously thought to be harmless.
* Amaca Pty Ltd v CSR Limited  NSW DDT 18
Increasing incidence of malignant mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during home maintenance and renovation.
Olsen NJ, Franklin PJ, Reid A, de Klerk NH, Threlfall TJ, Shilkin K, Musk B.
University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia. [email protected]
To determine trends in incidence of malignant mesothelioma (MM) caused by exposure to asbestos during home maintenance and renovation.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:
Using the Western Australian Mesothelioma Register, we reviewed all cases of MM diagnosed in WA from 1960 to the end of 2008, and determined the primary source of exposure to asbestos. Categories of exposure were collapsed into seven groups: asbestos miners and millers from Wittenoom; all other asbestos workers; residents from Wittenoom; home maintenance/renovators; other people exposed but not through their occupation; and people with unknown asbestos exposure; or no known asbestos exposure. Latency periods and age at diagnosis for each group were calculated and compared.
In WA, 1631 people (1408 men, 223 women) were diagnosed with MM between 1960 and 2008. Since 1981, there have been 87 cases (55 in men) of MM attributed to asbestos exposure during home maintenance and renovation, and an increasing trend in such cases, in both men and women. In the last 4 years of the study (2005-2008), home renovators accounted for 8.4% of all men and 35.7% of all women diagnosed with MM. After controlling for sex and both year and age at diagnosis, the latency period for people exposed to asbestos during home renovation was significantly shorter than that for all other exposure groups, but the shorter follow-up and difficulty recalling when exposure first occurred in this group may partly explain this.
MM after exposure to asbestos during home renovation is an increasing problem in WA, and these cases seem to have a shorter latency period than other types of exposure. MM cases related to renovation will probably continue to increase because of the many homes that have contained, and still contain, asbestos building products
Public health risks from non-occupational exposure to asbestos-containing materials in earthquake damaged Christchurch homes
not just an occupational health risk
The Ministry of Health
I would like to thank the Ministry of Health for their unprecedented offer of help with this presentation.
I would especially like to thank
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment