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Man’s death was due to asbestos exposure

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 06, 2014

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A PENSIONER whose work meant he was exposed to asbestos for ten years in the 1960s died from industrial disease.

David Thomas, of Foston Avenue, Burton, died on February 27 at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, aged 74 .

An inquest into his death was held at Burton Town Hall.

Mr Thomas has worked at a number of companies in the Burton area from 1965 to 1975, including Drakelow Power Station.

The inquest heard that his death was related to asbestos exposure from that ten-year period.

Though he had worked in a number of jobs in his life, it was while working in buildings with asbestos logging for companies based in Burton, Newhall and Drakelow that he was exposed to the dust.

Pathologist, Doctor Peter Acland, who conducted a postmortem said it was hard to detect asbestos in the body but mesothelioma was almost invariably linked with asbestos exposure.

In reaching his verdict, Coroner Andrew Haigh said: “Mr Thomas was a hard working man with numerous jobs. “Of particular concern were four jobs he had in which he was exposed to asbestos dust.

“In his final years he developed lung and breathing problems. I suspect this was caused by mesothelioma but it has not been confirmed.

“This made it necessary for there to be a postmortem and microscopic examination.

“I am well satisfied that this death was a result of mesothelioma, which was a result of asbestos.”

Mr Haigh recorded the cause of death as industrial disease.

He said: “Mesothelioma is a horrible condition that sometimes arises years after exposure which happened in Mr Thomas’ case.”

Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.

The material is often used in buildings. It was widely used for insulation, flooring and roofing before its dangers were known.

It became clear after time that asbestos can cause serious damage to people’s lungs.

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