School of Population and Global Health

Asbestos Review Program

This program is the continuation of the previous ReVital program. 

Regular five yearly evaluation of the Vitamin A and ReVital programs showed that taking part was consistently associated with lower rates of death. However the evaluation after 15 years showed no significant reduction in rate of mesothelioma among those taking Vitamin A. 

As a result, it was decided that it was not the Vitamin A that was having an effect but some other aspect of the program.  Therefore Vitamin A is no longer being provided, but all other parts of the previous program continue.

Each participant attends a free annual appointment, where they complete a brief questionnaire and receive a blood test, chest x-ray, and simple lung function test.

The following groups are eligible for inclusion in the Asbestos Review Program:

  • All previous participants of the Vitamin A Program or ReVital
  • All  former Wittenoom workers
  • All former Wittenoom residents
  • Former residents of Point Sampson
  • People with diagnosed Pleural Plaques
  • People who have had significant exposure to asbestos elsewhere (the equivalent of three months full-time work), and who live in Perth
  • Other asbestos-exposed workers may join if they are keen to do so

Research objectives

  • To monitor the health status of people exposed to asbestos
  • To provide health promotion resources to all participants on the program, particularly in relation to smoking, diet, exercise and recommended screening programs

Potential benefits to participants

  • Provision of an efficient and effective annual “check-up” and ongoing contact with a team of people who are there for the purpose of providing support, assistance and advice regarding issues related to past exposure to asbestos. In particular the provision of help in coping with the knowledge that an individual’s mesothelioma risk continues to increase with time.
  • Assistance in quitting smoking
  • Advice on exercise, diet and cancer

Potential benefits to humanity in general 

The program provides important insights into cancer incidence and prevention, especially in people with past asbestos exposure. As a result of the information that is collected it will continue to add to knowledge and understanding of the carcinogenic and other respiratory and physiological effects of inhaled asbestos and to explore possibilities for prevention. 

Selected publications 

Brims FJ. Asbestos exposure - progress in caring for patients. Medical Forum (2015) January 2015:34

Brims FJ, Murray CP, de Klerk N, Alfonso H, Reid A, Manners D, Wong PM, Teh J, Olsen N, Mina R, Musk AW. Ultra-Low-Dose Chest Computer Tomography Screening of an Asbestos-exposed Population in Western Australia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. (2015) 191(1):113-6

Reid A, de Klerk NH, Magnani C, Ferrante D, Berry G, Musk AW, Merler E. Mesothelioma risk after 40 years since first exposure to asbestos: a pooled analysis. Thorax (2014) 69(9):843-50


This program is funded by the Health Department of Western Australia.


School of Population and Global Health

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 9 June, 2015 11:10 AM