Important information about Wittenoom
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Travelling to Wittenoom presents a public health risk from exposure to asbestos fibres which may result in contracting a fatal disease, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer.
Mesothelioma and lung cancer can develop after even brief exposure to asbestos. The time between exposure to asbestos and the occurrence of cancer can be 20 to 40 years, or even longer.
Blue asbestos, the type once mined in Wittenoom, is the most deadly of all types of asbestos. Remnants of blue asbestos are still present in Wittenoom, presenting a serious risk to your health.
There are many destinations in the Pilbara that are beautiful to visit, and do not pose a risk to your health. Please see the Wittenoom Awareness Brochure (PDF, 654Kb) for more information, as well as the other sections of this site about Wittenoom. Hard copies of this brochure are available from the Department of Local Government and Regional Development.
Asbestos in Wittenoom
The asbestos mining operations in the Wittenoom area and the resulting remnants of asbestos have already resulted in hundreds of fatalities among miners, residents and visitors to the town.
Asbestos was once considered valuable, but it has been discovered that if you inhale asbestos fibres, you have a chance of contracting fatal diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Asbestos was once used in building materials, paper and textile products, and friction products such as brake linings for vehicles.
Asbestos fibres still exist in the Wittenoom area, and even brief exposure poses a risk to people visiting the area. The fibres move by wind and water, and also by human activities.
PLEASE SEE THE NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY REPORT INTO ASBESTOS CONTAMINATION (PDF, 3.64Mb) IN WITTENOOM BY GHD & PARSONS BRINCKERHOFF.
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