Community and workers waiting for health check Champassak Province Lao PDR. 


Asbestos factories still operate in Laos, posing serious health risks. To combat this, the Laos Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU) is stepping up by conducting health checks for workers and communities near asbestos factories in Champassak and Xiengkhouang Provinces. 

Partnering with lung disease specialists from hospitals in Vientiane (Laos capital city), the LFTU is raising awareness among workers directly exposed to the deadly dust. Their mission: to protect and inform. The campaign saw 477 people participate in the health checks. Of these, 24 were flagged for further lung evaluation, with one severe case requiring immediate hospital admission. 

The Australian Embassy team joined the effort, with Ambassador Ms. Megan Jones sharing Australia’s harrowing experience with asbestos, which still causes 4,000 deaths annually, even 20 years after the ban. Ambassador Jones emphasized the need to prevent Laos from suffering a similar fate. 



Australian Ambassador to Laos Megan Jones with APHEDA Laos Country Manager Vilada Phomduangsy during health checks. 

LFTU and Australian Embassy representatives.


Early detection of asbestos-related diseases is vital, as symptoms can take years to manifest and often go unrecognized as occupational diseases. To tackle this, health data from the checks will be stored in a database for ongoing monitoring and future compensation claims. 

Through these health checks and awareness campaigns, the LFTU is making great steps in safeguarding the health and safety of those exposed to asbestos.  

Our campaign to eradicate asbestos-related diseases is co-supported by Australian trade unions and Australian Aid. 

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