A fit and healthy stonemason was diagnosed with an irreversible and deadly lung disease that hit dozens in his profession after a friend asked him & have you been tested & # 39;
The trader Kyle Goodwin of Byron Bay, 33, had worked as a stonemason for almost a decade when a sector struck across the country due to a silicosis.
The disease absorbs the lungs and is caused by breathing in crystalline silica dust, which is a common alternative to marble countertops.
Suitable and healthy stonemason Kyle Goodwin (photo) was diagnosed with an irreversible and deadly lung disease that struck many in his profession after a friend asked him: & have you been tested & # 39 ;?
Like a stonemason, Mr. Goodwin was exposed to dust from years of cutting tables in the kitchen, 9 News reported.
He said that every part of his body exposed at work would be completely covered by white dust at the end of the day.
& # 39; I was approached by an ex-colleague (who asked) & # 39; & # 39; have you been tested? & # 39; & # 39; I said & # 39; no & # 39 ;, and he said & # 39; & # 39; you should because this person, and this person and this person have been diagnosed & # 39; & # 39 ;, & # 39; Said Mr Goodwin 9 News.
Mr. Goodwin was checked that day – and diagnosed with accelerated silicosis, as well as early stages of progressive massive fibrosis.
It was a possible death sentence.
& # 39; I didn't expect it. It was a huge shock. It was pretty heartbreaking and quite difficult to hear. I was initially told that I might even be out on oxygen in 5-10 years, & he said.
After the shock of his life-changing diagnosis was made, Mr. Goodwin said it was replaced by anger about the industry, WorkCover and his former employers.
In the past year, more than 100 stonemasons have been diagnosed with the disease in Queensland alone.
Mr. Goodwin has now taken legal action against his former employer and has hired Maurice Blackburn lawyers to handle his case.
Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with accelerated silicosis and early stage of progressive massive fibrosis, giving the young trader a death sentence (file photo)
& # 39; For me, the legal side is not so much the search for compensation as it makes people responsible, & # 39; he said.
The lung disease had an impact on the quality of life of Mr. Goodwin before he was even diagnosed.
He said he remained fit but could never reach the same cardiovascular level as his buddies, which he now says was probably due to the disease.
He also had a dry cough during parts of the year depending on the weather and all the dust in the air would affect his breathing heavily.
Mr. Goodwin hopes that by bringing the problem to court, along with a number of other cases that are already in court, some rules or changes will be implemented to protect workers in the trade.
The news came only a few days after a man who lost his brother for the same disease, before being diagnosed himself, burst into tears during a radio interview where he also called for change.
The news came a few days after Shane Parata (photo), who lost his brother for the same disease before being diagnosed himself, burst into tears during a radio interview where he also called for change
Parata & # 39; s brother Anthony White (photo) was also diagnosed with the same disease and died recently due to complications, only 36 years old.
On Monday, former stonemason Shane Parata spoke to Triple M Sydney Moonman in the Morning to reconsider his trade.
Parata & # 39; s brother Anthony White was also diagnosed with the same disease and died recently due to complications, at the age of only 36.
Parata feels let down by the industry he loved, which he had been a part of for more than 15 years, and compared the disease with asbestos.
& # 39; Where is the risk assessment on everything? Once we learned about asbestos, it was stopped immediately, & Parata said to Triple M.
He wondered why companies still use such products and poses a risk to up to 500,000 stonemasons throughout Australia.
& # 39; Why do we still use this product that we know is still killing people? It killed one, it killed my brother, & he said.
What is silicosis?
Silicose is the scar of the lung tissue, which leads to shortness of breath due to an accumulation of silica dust in the air pockets.
It typically affects traders who work with concrete, bricks, tiles, sandstone, and granite.
Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, loss of appetite, fatigue
It is often caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica for many years, but extremely high short-term exposure can cause it to develop rapidly
Exposure to respirable crystalline silica can lead to a range of respiratory diseases, including silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer
Source: Queensland Workplace Health and Safety
& # 39; What about the rest of the people who are left in the trade who don't have it, all the fellow traditions that are in the same work locations that we sometimes prune dry. It is unfair to everyone. & # 39;
Looking back on his career, Mr. Parata said there was not enough emphasis on how bad the product can be and how it was treated as granite or marble.
In September, WorkCover received 22 silica claims, six of which related to people who were terminally ill, ABC reported.
A dramatic peak was predicted before the end of the year, with Dr. Graeme Edwards, company doctor, supervising the screening process, expecting another 300 people to be diagnosed in Queensland alone.
The national state of emergency was compared to the destruction caused by asbestos at the height of its impact in Australia in the 1990s.
& # 39; We have informed all stonemasons of the serious risk of inhaling this dust, and we need more than just the Queensland government that is committed to these important legal changes, & # 39; said White.
In Victoria alone there are currently 36 claims filed with WorkCover for silica problems.