Australia Day honour for asbestos crusader Serafina Salucci

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The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Chief Executive Officer, Peter Tighe congratulates Serafina Salucci on receiving a Member in the general division of the Order of Australia (AM) on Australia Day 2018.

Since her life-changing diagnosis of Mesothelioma 11 years ago, Serafina Salucci has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and to improve the lives of other survivors.

Serafina was exposed to asbestos as a young girl when her father built a garage in the backyard of their home at the time, playing with the offcuts of asbestos-cement sheeting. This one-time exposure to asbestos fibres was enough to result in her contracting the deadly mesothelioma many years later.

Serafina played an instrumental role in lobbying the Australian Government to establish the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency in 2013 to take a national approach towards asbestos safety and management.

Australia has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world with an average 700 deaths each year and the rates of all forms of asbestos-related diseases is up to five times this number resulting in approximately 4,000 deaths per year.

Those diagnosed with mesothelioma usually have a prognosis of around 12 months and Serafina was given two years when diagnosed in 2007 and has survived as a result of radical surgical procedures and several rounds of cancer treatment.

Quotes attributable to Peter Tighe, CEO of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency:

“Serafina is a selfless warrior in the fight against asbestos. I congratulate her on receiving her Australia Day 2018 honour, which she has certainly earnt.

“Australia has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world with an average 700 deaths each year and as many new diagnoses for the disease.

“The work Serafina does in raising awareness about asbestos is helping to reduce exposures and the number of people impacted by this deadly man-made disease.

“The Agency looks forward to working with Serafina in the coming years to reduce asbestos-related diseases.”