• 09 MAY 08
    • 0

    #884: Suspected cancer cluster in an Australian govt. building

    Note in the below article where Minister Schwarten states that “magnetic field measurements conducted in 1999 had shown that levels in the office were well below recognised guidelines”. Thus the ignorance and deception continues with the authorities continuing to quote irrelevant guidelines as somehow protecting against cancer – even though those exposures (1000mG home/5,000mG occupational) are only for acute “instantaneous exposures” and not for environmental level/chronic exposures. It is an insult to the affected workers at Mineral House to use this deception then state that “the health and safety of our employees is paramount”.


    From Sylvie


    Six cancer cases in govt building
    May 8, 2008 – 10:05AM

    Six staff at a Queensland government building in
    Brisbane’s CBD have been diagnosed with cancer in the
    past four years, raising fears of another cancer

    Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said Queensland
    Health had been asked to undertake urgent tests at
    Mineral House on George Street after a concerned
    employee of the Queensland Government Security Office
    on Wednesday reported six staff had fallen ill with

    “The health and safety of our employees is paramount
    and for that reason the department has asked
    Queensland Health to undertake an urgent
    investigation,” Mr Schwarten said in a statement.

    The environmental and epidemiological tests would be
    completed as soon as possible and staff informed of
    the results.

    “Staff and their union have been advised of the
    actions being taken by the department and the staff
    are continuing to work in the area,” Mr Schwarten

    “However, should any evidence come to light to
    indicate the area is unsafe, the department will
    immediately take action.”

    Magnetic field measurements conducted in 1999 had
    shown that levels in the office were well below
    recognised guidelines, he said.

    But the situation at Mineral House differed from the
    ABC’s now abandoned Toowong studios in Brisbane, where
    a breast cancer cluster was identified, and at the
    Atherton fire station in north Queensland, where there
    were three cases of brain cancer and two of other
    forms of cancer.

    “For example, I am informed that a variety of
    different cancers have been diagnosed in staff working
    at Mineral House, and those diagnosed come from varied
    demographics,” Mr Schwarten said.

    But regardless of the differences, the matter of
    workplace health and safety was being taken very
    seriously and the investigation would explore every
    avenue, he said.

    © 2008 AAP

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