Help tradies breathe easier

Give hope to a silicosis diagnosis.

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Every breath shouldn't be a struggle

Silicosis is a devastating and progressive lung disease impacting thousands of workers across Australia. There is no cure. Once diagnosed, there is little hope for those suffering from this life-limiting illness.

But research can change this.

By supporting research, you can help uncover new treatments and bring hope to those suffocated by silicosis. Cases continue to climb every year and many more go undiagnosed, so we can't wait until it's too late.

Your donation can give new hope to patients and help our tradies breathe easier. Together we can work towards a future free from the threat of silicosis.

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Help protect the health of our nation's tradies

Over 600,000 Australian Workers are exposed to dust particles every day

Silicosis impacts workers across many industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing and agriculture - meaning there are so many at risk.

Construction accounts for 9% of Australian workers

The industry is one of the nation's largest. Many young tradies make their start as trainees or apprentices, with 15% of construction workers aged between 15 - 24.

Silicosis is progressive and incurable

Once a person develops the disease, they must manage their symptoms for the rest of their life. Silicosis can progress undetected for years, leaving many sufferers in the dark until it's too late.

There is currently no cure for silicosis

Silicosis is a severe, progressive and devastating lung disease. It is caused by inhaling toxic silica dust such as that from sand, glass, concrete, engineered stone, tiles and other silica-based materials. 

When silica dust enters the lungs, the immune system goes into overdrive. This inflammation and scaring causes lasting damage to the lungs, which robs patients of the ability to breathe freely. Over time, the lungs are destroyed by tiny, toxic dust particles. 

For some, the symptoms may be mild and go undetected. Others may struggle to do things we all take for granted, such as walking up a flight of stairs, chasing after the kids or grandkids, household
chores and something as essential as sleeping. 

Our researchers have been investigating silicosis for some time now. They have uncovered a revolutionary procedure for mild cases of silicosis, called a whole lung lavage. This procedure uses saline to flush silica dust from the lungs. It could be the first step to fighting silicosis once it takes hold.

"... research is a chance to make sure that these workers feel like they’re not alone, and they don’t have to face a death sentence." - Professor Dan Chambers

Meet Daniel

Daniel, a 44-year-old loving husband and father of four, was diagnosed with silicosis during a routine medical check-up.

Daniel had been working in the tunneling industry for over 20 years and had always taken precautions, such as wearing a mask, to avoid exposure to silica dust. Despite this, he was diagnosed with acute silicosis, a lung disease that has no cure.

Daniel and his wife contacted researchers after learning about the potential of the whole lung lavage procedure as a potential treatment for silicosis. In October 2022, Daniel underwent the revolutionary procedure.

Now several months on, Daniel feels like he can inhale a little more comfortably and is feeling hopeful for the future.

"When you’re facing a life-limiting, incurable disease, you need to have some hope, and being on the whole lung lavage trial was the hope my young family needed."

Patient for the Tradie Health Institute Dan with newborn son
Silicosis patient Frank wearing his oxygen concentrator on a walk

Meet Frank

About 15 years ago, Frank, a grandfather from Brisbane, received a devastating silicosis diagnosis.

He started his stonemason apprenticeship straight out of high school and worked as a stonemason until he was 37-years-old, and it brought him so much joy. Sadly, this is when everything changed.  Today, he needs an oxygen concentrator 24 hours a day to aid his breathing.

"Unfortunately, at the stage that my silicosis has progressed to, there are no treatments available. Silicosis is irreversible, and there is currently no cure."

Over time, Frank's health has steadily deteriorated. The absence of viable treatment options leaves him with only one remaining hope—a lung transplant. Earlier this year, he was placed on the transplant list and is now waiting for a double lung transplant at The Prince Charles Hospital.

"When I think of myself though, sadly, my only remaining hope is a lung transplant. And that’s a conflicting thing to feel hopeful for."

Frank’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the need for advancements in silicosis research, so others don’t have to face a similar future. 

"I also worry about others who worked in the same industry around the same time, and I wonder how many have silicosis and perhaps don’t even know…I don’t want anyone else to be in the situation I am in now. But the reality is, without research, that’s what will happen."

Help bring hope to silicosis patients like Daniel & Frank

Silicosis is a constant threat to workers, even with the best precautions. Those that already have silicosis, or will soon receive the devastating diagnosis, need your help now.

Your donation will help fund research into early detection methods and revolutionary treatments, like the whole lung lavage. You can help give hope where there wasn't before.

Tradies have laid the foundations for our cities, communities and homes. They shouldn't have to struggle for every breath.

Donate today to help create a future free from the threat of silicosis.

Recent donations

Matthew Leigh

201d ago

Reg O'Halloran

355d ago

Antony Banfield

362d ago


362d ago

Margaret Crouch

378d ago

You can create hope for our tradies

Silicosis doesn't need to be a life-sentence. Research holds the key to a cure.
Your support brings us closer to a future where tradies don't have to struggle for every breath. 

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