Asbestos led to death of former resort welder

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A Blackpool man died as a result of years of exposure to asbestos, an inquest heard.

Coroner Alan Wilson was told 70-year-old Roy Garnham’s death was caused by decades as a metal welder, where he often worked with the fatal material.

An inquest was opened in March after Mr Garnham, of Ascot Road, Layton, died in February, with Dr Mark Sissons, a pathologist at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, saying a post mortem examination showed traits relating to asbestos illness.

He added: “Having examined the lungs and taken samples I was able to confirm this was asbestosis. He clearly had this.

“I think what led to his death was a chest infection. He was being treated for this.

“He died as a result of bronchial pneumonia due to asbestosis.”

Dr Sissons added the walls of the lungs are normally thin to allow oxygen to enter the bloodstream, but Mr Garnham’s lungs had begun to calcify and form plaques – a common sign of exposure to asbestos.

Coroner Alan Wilson added: “He (Mr Garner) worked with asbestos on a daily basis.

“For 10 years from 1958 he worked with a welding company in Nuneaton.

“He then held another position working with asbestos for two years, before in 1970 starting work with a third welding company.”

The court was told in 1976 Mr Garnham became a bus driver, which he continued until 2010.

But it was also revealed in recent years Mr Garnham had started to visit hospital with chest complaints.

Delivering a verdict of death by industrial disease, Mr Wilson said: “Mr Garnham worked with the asbestos from the age of 16.

“He didn’t begin to feel breathless until his 50s, when he began to be treated for it.

“He was exposed to asbestos during the course of his working life.”

Mr Garnham is survived by his wife Patricia and their children Jane and Dean.