FORMER Victorian Government workers will be offered free health screenings amid fears that the use of poisonous pesticides may have caused illnesses and deaths.
Weed sprayers in regional Victoria have complained of serious health conditions, including cancer and skin problems, after exposure to a range of toxic chemicals including Agent Orange.
Sprayers who worked for former Victorian Government agencies and departments before 1995 will be offered screenings for cancer — soft-skin sarcoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma — and for chloracne, a skin condition.
Sprayers who are tested will be provided with an individual support plan, including access to health services if necessary.
The screenings form part of the State Government’s response to an inquiry into health concerns raised by weed sprayers who worked in the Ballarat region between 1965 and 1995.