Major Research Initiative in Australia 

by Laurie Kazan-Allen



The Australian Government, which has categorized the nation's epidemic of asbestos-related diseases as the “worst industrial disaster in our history,” has devised a comprehensive national strategy plan for dealing with the tragedy. On September 27, 2006, it was announced that a new National Research Center for Asbestos-Related Diseases would be established in Perth, Western Australia (WA) and that funding had been allocated for the pursuit of research into 11 medical, scientific, social and biological asbestos-related projects in WA, Victoria and Queensland. The sum to be dispersed in this tranche of funding is $6.2m; over the next decade, millions in additional funds will be provided to enable Australian researchers to study and ultimately combat the devastation caused by asbestos-related illnesses.1

Research projects which have been approved for funding in 2006-2007 include work on the following:

  • epidemiology and the consequences of asbestos exposure;

  • development of serum markers for improved diagnosis, monitoring and screening for early detection of mesothelioma, asbestos cancer;

  • study of genes present in asbestos-related disorders and the relationship to environmental exposure;

  • the body's mechanisms to inhibit collagen production and thereby slow growth of malignant mesothelioma tumors;

  • developing a grass-roots response to asbestos-related disease in Aboriginal communities;

  • studying people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who were formerly exposed to asbestos and tobacco smoke.

October 17, 2006


1 For more information see:



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