‘Just get rid of it’
THE symptoms of asbestosis overwhelmed Tweed resident Wade Pomfret suddenly.
In 2007, the great-grandfather began hearing a cracking sound when breathing, and coughed uncontrollably. He developed double pneumonia.
In 2012, he got the shocking diagnosis and the 70-year-old realised where he had contracted asbestosis.
"I got it from gloves made of asbestos. I was in the plastics industry and everyday I was handling plastics at 300 degree temperatures.
"I was wearing these old tattered gloves made of asbestos that every body shared, and I think I got asbestosis from that.
"You only need one fibre to get into your lungs and it mutates in your lungs for about 20 or 30 years."
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral mined from rock and made up of many tiny fibres. It was a common building material as fibro sheeting, corrugated fibro sheets, floor tiles and in many other forms.
When a person inhales microscopic asbestos fibres they can become lodged in the lung and lining of the lung, stomach and heart, over time causing scarring or mesothelioma cancer, for which there is no treatment.
It is for this reason Mr Pomfret has urged residents to take up Tweed Shire Council's offer of 60% off disposal fees for asbestos. The offer, which ends on June 30, just requires a form to be filled out on the council website.
"Get rid of it," Mr Pomfret urged.
Further info: 02 6670 2694.