In the 1950s, five Western Australian children helped out their parents on the family farm by shaking out hessian superphosphate bags before they were returned to a fertiliser supplier for recycling. Today, three of these children, now adults, have asbestos-related disease (calcified pleural plaques); one has no history of any other exposure to asbestos. Musk and colleagues suggest that before the hessian bags got to the fertiliser industry and the farm, some may have been used, contrary to regulations, to transport asbestos from the mine to the coast. They say this family’s experience highlights the potential results of the insidious dissemination of asbestos throughout the Western Australian community in past years.
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