At The Common Good, we have found a way to treat deadly Silicosis – but we need your help to save a tradie and continue the fight against this terrible disease.
Silicosis is a deadly lung disease, described as the worst industrial health crisis since asbestosis. Tradies involved in cutting engineered stone and concrete inhale toxic silica dust. The silica dust settles in their lungs and stops their lungs from working.
Although the recent and immediate focus has been on workers within the stone benchtop industry there are numerous work activities that generate respirable silica dust particles including but not limited to mining, quarrying and construction workers amongst many others
At the moment Silicosis cannot be cured. At best it is debilitating, and at its worst can be fatal. Thousands of tradespeople are at risk of this deadly disease. Hundreds have been diagnosed in Queensland alone.
Through the efforts of scientists at The Prince Charles Hospital, we have found a way to treat those with early-stage silicosis. It’s called Whole Lung Lavage and it involves washing the toxic silica crystals out of the lungs with 25 litres of warm saline solution.
The breakthrough came by being able to measure the amount of silica in the lungs of patients – this was the game-changer. It gave our researchers the chance to measure the extent of the problem and gauge the potential success of the Whole Lung Lavage.
“It’s like taking a nail out of your foot,” says lead researcher Professor Dan Chambers. “If you’ve stepped on a nail, you can’t deal with the problem unless you remove the nail. This treatment works on the same principle: it removes the toxic silica dust that’s damaging the lungs.”
Lung Lavage patient Anthony Constantine said that the treatment has changed his life.
“Just knowing that horrible stuff is not inside me anymore is just such a relief, I’m not stressed about it anymore. My mental load has been lifted,” he said.
“Being given a death sentence was a shock, I basically shut down. Having this procedure has truly changed my life.”
Professor Chambers and his team need five million dollars to progress this world-leading treatment so that many more lives can be saved. Silicosis is only becoming a bigger problem in our society, and we need your help to tackle it head-on.
Please give generously to allow us to expand our research into new and innovative treatments for silicosis, to prevent more young lives being lost.