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It has been reported that there is mystery surrounding the death of an 85 year old retired painter and decorator. He died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs which is caused by exposure to asbestos dust. However, Thomas Williams, from Moreton-in-Marsh could not recall ever coming in to contact with asbestos.
It can take many decades for mesothelioma to develop to the point where it causes symptoms. It was reported in the Gloucester Coroner’s Court that Mr Williams died at his home on 5 July 2017. He had been diagnosed with mesothelioma last June after suffering from breathlessness. In May of this year his condition worsened and it is reported that he required palliative care.
A Post Mortem confirmed the diagnosis of mesothelioma and the presence of asbestos related disease. The levels of asbestos fibres found in the lung tissue were consistent with asbestos exposure.
It is reported that the Assistant Coroner, Caroline Saunders recorded a narrative conclusion. Although Mr Williams died from a disease normally linked to asbestos exposure, he could not recall any specific instances where the exposure occurred.
Andrew Stinchcombe of Novum Law comments “This is another sad example of exposure to asbestos dust causing mesothelioma many decades later. Painters and decorators were commonly exposed to asbestos dust in the 1950s, 60s and 70s but they may not have knowingly come into contact with asbestos, and may not have known what it looked like when it was being disturbed. Unfortunately the number of cases of mesothelioma are continuing to rise each year, due to the widespread use of asbestos as an insulating material in the middle of the last century. Asbestos still remains in some older buildings and it should not be disturbed. Instead, if it is located then specialist contractors should be called to assess the danger and remove it if safe to do so”.