Published on October 06, 2022
Despite the risks of malignant mesothelioma and the best efforts of the government, the town of Wittenoom in Western Australia has become a tourist destination. The former site of an asbestos mine, it is littered with blue asbestos tailings and fibers that have presented a challenge and draw for people in search of free camping with a novelty.
Asbestos History Is Draw Despite Exposure’s Risks
The Western Australian government has spent years trying to shut Wittenoom down in an attempt to prevent people from getting mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Writers from the New York Times recently traveled to Wittenoom to document the town’s last days, only to find that it continues to be a draw for tourists and people in search of free campgrounds.
While the journalists took significant steps to protect themselves against the risks of mesothelioma, wearing high-grade masks and discarding items that might have been contaminated during their visit, they encountered tourists and campers who expressed no fear of the disease, as well as residents who have resisted the government’s entreaties and orders to leave.
Asbestos Fibers and Tailings Continue to Pose a Risk of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, which can easily lodge in the cells of the lungs. Because the fibers are long and pointy, once embedded within the body these fibers are almost impossible to expel. Over time they cause cell death and mutations that eventually grow into the disease’s deadly fibers.
Many of the people who the journalists encountered acknowledged the risk of malignant mesothelioma but seemed unbothered by it. They noted, “Because of [asbestos] psychological, invisible nature, people can have very different understandings of what level of risk they’re exposing themselves to.”
People diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma understand the risks posed by asbestos all too well. For access to important resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.
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Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.
Learn more about and contact Terri