Lung Bus? results returned to residents

By TOBY WALKER

EX-MINERS and their families tested for asbestos exposure on the Dust Diseases Board's 'Lung Bus' will meet in Baryulgil later this month to discuss how they will go about claiming compensation for their illnesses.

Results from around 250 individual tests performed earlier this year on miners who worked at Baryulgil's James Hardie-owned asbestos mine have been returned to the Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS).

Yesterday newly-appointed AMS CEO Scott Monaghan said while some of the test results presented evidence of medical conditions that could be linked to asbestos exposure, they were by no means conclusive.

"Some of the results that came out of the Baryulgil testing did show some signs (of exposure) but the examinations that were conducted were only basic chest x-rays so they're not going to show up any glaringly obvious problems," he said.

He said more detailed procedures would need to be conducted on those tested to confirm whether their illnesses were inextricably caused by exposure to asbestos.

Mr Monaghan said the meeting, planned for July 23, would provide an opportunity to present the 'Lung Bus' findings to those screened and explain whether pre-existing habits like smoking or asthma may have contributed to the results of some individuals.

He said the meeting was also important because it would provide those people eligible for reparations with important information on the legal processes involved in claiming compensation.

"You've got to remember that some of these people have been down this road three of four times before and they've got to this point and said 'nothing will happen' so we just want to keep them up to date and show them that things are moving along," he said.

James Hardie Industries operated an asbestos mine at Baryulgil until the mid 1970s.



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