Man killed by asbestos dust exposure for just ‘two to three days’... 46 years ago

Asbestos

Asbestos - Credit: Archant

A MAN died after being exposed to lethal asbestos dust for just “two to three days” 46 years ago, an inquest heard.

Coroner Edward Thomas recorded a verdict of industrial disease as the cause of death of Welwyn resident Roger Beale.

The inquest, at the Old Courthouse, in Hatfield, on Wednesday, heard Mr Beale, of Ayot St Peter, began complaining of breathlessness while climbing up the stairs and a chest X-ray was taken.

Initially his condition was put down to a chest infection.

In January 2010, Mr Beale again sought medical attention as symptoms persisted and he was referred to the chest clinic at the QE2 Hospital, in Welwyn Garden City.

It was there that the link between his condition and asbestos dust was established, and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

By November 2010 Mr Beale suffered increasing bouts of breathlessness and he was being “regularly monitored”.

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Mr Thomas told how the deceased 67-year-old worked with asbestos, very briefly, in 1967.

He said: “For a short period of time, about two to three days, he was working in a factory in 1967 and was required to cut asbestos with a circular saw, and it was no doubt from that that would have involved inhaling asbestos dust.

“He had no mask, and no protection, it was on his clothes when he went home. I am satisfied that he had a quite substantial exposure to asbestos.”

He added: “The onset of symptoms is entirely compatible with what we know about the disease.”