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National taskforce to tackle dust diseases

The Australian Government Department of Health has established a National Dust Disease Taskforce to develop a national approach to the prevention, early identification, control and management of dust diseases in Australia.

The incidence of lung disease caused by dust, particularly silicosis, has increased in recent years but little is known about the prevalence of these diseases. Accelerated silicosis is a preventable lung disease resulting from inhalation of very fine silica dust.

While it can occur in various industries, there has been a recent cluster of cases related to the manufacture and installation of artificial stone bench tops.

The Australian Government will provide $5 million to support the taskforce and related measures. These include establishing a National Dust Disease Register, and new research to support understanding, prevention and treatment of preventable occupational lung diseases.

Further information

More information is at health.gov.au.