Asbestos Removalists Health Study

Assessing the health risks of modern-day asbestos removal


Asbestos was used extensively in buildings up until the late 1980s. As a result it remains widespread in the Australian built environment and there is increasing concern about ongoing exposure at work and home.

Asbestos removal is a growing industry and, as an occupational group, asbestos removalists are at the highest risk of frequent asbestos exposure, particularly if the removal is not done correctly. There has been very little research on the risks of asbestos-related disease in asbestos removalists.

We are currently recruiting both present and past asbestos removalists so we can assess their health now and in the future. By establishing an Australia-wide group of asbestos removalists, we will be able to assess the development of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in relation to their occupational asbestos exposure history, work practices and lifestyle-related factors.

Project goals:

  • establish a group of current and former licensed asbestos removalists throughout Australia
  • collect baseline data on their occupational histories, current health status and lifestyle factors

Research team leader: Dr Nita Sodhi-Berry 

Dr Sodhi-Berry is an early-career epidemiologist dedicated towards improving the health outcomes of vulnerable populations. Her research focusses on occupationally vulnerable groups such as mining populations and asbestos removalists. Her current work explores the health effects of modern-day work-related exposures including diesel engine exhaust, respirable crystalline silica and asbestos, and identifying potential avenues for minimising health disparities and adverse health effects.

Collaborations and funding

Volunteer participation


The University of Western Australia, with funding from The Cancer Council of Western Australia, is conducting a study on the health and work practices of asbestos removalists. Asbestos removalists are the only people currently exposed to asbestos through work.

This study will try to understand if current work practices protect the health of workers who are regularly exposed to asbestos materials. If you are an asbestos removalist or you know someone who is, we invite you to participate in this study.

Participation involves completing a short 10-15 minute questionnaire about general health and work with asbestos. Removalists can also choose to become part of our confidential registry to allow future contact for health projects regarding asbestos removal.

We assure you complete confidentiality and that the information we gather will be used exclusively for research purposes. The names or identifying information of individuals/businesses participating in the study will not be shared with government departments or regulatory bodies, nor will it be used in any publications or reports arising from this study.

Complete the survey online.



For more information about the study, the baseline questionnaire, or to complete the questionnaire over the phone, contact: