‘Ticking time bomb’ of asbestos exposure

Trinity Hospice
Trinity Hospice
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A man died of a tumour brought about by his long-term exposure to asbestos, and inquest heard.

John Woolhouse worked at Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) for many years since joining as a youth trainee in 1960, and for a long time he worked as a forklift truck driver.

Blackpool Coroner, Anne Hind, heard every couple of years, the company would shut down and the asbestos lagging was removed from the pipes and vessels for maintenance and inspection.

In a statement before his death, Mr Woolhouse, 69, of Elms Avenue, Lytham, said: “It was not a clean process, and no tenting was put up or protective equipment that I could see.

“I have been exposed to all manner of chemicals with ICI; something which has caused my wife and myself some considerable concern, although this now pales into insignificance now I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.”

Mrs Hind said: “It has to be acknowledged that this exposure was over a very long period of time in one form or another.”

Mr Woolhouse, who died on December 26 last year at Trinity Hospice, had a tumour in the lining of his left lung which had spread to other parts of his body, caused by the mesothelioma which is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Recording a verdict of death by industrial disease, Mrs Hind said: “The thing that is most frightening is that it was all so long ago when the exposure took place.

“It’s like a ticking time bomb.”

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