Asbestos is part of Australia’s built environment, reflecting a long history of the use of asbestos as a building material. Due to this legacy, it is now a confirmed cause of multiple asbestos-related diseases (ARDs), making it an important, potentially avoidable, public health issue in Australia.
This study quantifies some of the economic and social costs of ARD in Australia for 2015, and finds that there are large health system and productivity costs associated with the disease.
The population of ARD sufferers is not limited to current patients, due to long latency periods and a third wave of people contracting the disease from non-occupational exposure.
This report contributes to the evidence base for asbestos policy development, and by drawing on all relevant data available at the time of drafting, points to future research that would expand the understanding of the economic and social costs that ARDs leave on patients, their families and carers, and the wider community and economy.