Senate investigates return of pneumoconiosis

A lung disease thought to have been eradicated in Australia decades ago may have resurfaced.

Six people in Queensland have recently been diagnosed with pneumoconiosis, sometimes known as black lung, and their cases are believed by some to be just the tip of the iceberg.

A senate inquiry hearing in Brisbane is investigating the re-emergence of the disease and why thousands of chest x-rays and records have allegedly gone unexamined over the years.

Committee chairperson senator Deborah O’Neill said they had been tasked with investigating why the disease had re-emerged.

“There are questions around it and that’s what we will be asking — how has this happened, what’s going on, is there adequate support for people whose diagnosis happens, what about prevention,” she told the ABC.


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