The National Asbestos Exposure Register records details of suspected or actual asbestos exposure for anyone who knows or thinks they have been exposed, whether at work, in the home or in the community.
The register captures information about where and when potential exposure occurred and whether the individual has been diagnosed with an asbestos–related disease. The data is stored securely and can be accessed by the individual in future as a record of the exposure event.
Using data recorded in the register, we can report trends in potential asbestos exposure based on age, gender, location, type of exposure, frequency of exposure and where the potential exposure occurred, see Figure 1 and Figure 2. However as the register is voluntary and the information recorded is based on each registrant’s recollection of events, the data does not provide a precise picture of asbestos exposures or asbestos-related disease in Australia.
This report provides a snapshot of registrations for the reporting period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 and shows trends in registrations over the past six years.
The total registrations from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2020 were 10,533.
Review of the National Asbestos Exposure Register
During 2019–20, we undertook a review of the National Asbestos Exposure Register to clarify its role in reporting and recording potential asbestos exposure for the Australian community.
The review found that due to limitations in data accuracy and completeness, the register was not able to identify areas of potential risk to the community and cannot be relied upon to do so. Data limitations relate to the voluntary nature of the register, the ability of individuals to correctly identify asbestos and their ability to accurately recall a potential exposure event at the time of registration.
The review concluded that the enduring purpose of the register is to serve as a record for members of the community who believe they have been exposed to asbestos, so they can refer to the details of the potential exposure in the future.