Asbestos related deaths are a ticking timebomb says Coroner

Asbestos related deaths are a ticking timebomb says Coroner

Blackburn and Hyndburn Coroner, Michael Singleton, has issued a warning saying that asbestos related deaths are a ticking timebomb.

Mr Singleton said the number of deaths from mesothelioma cancer is continuing to rise and something needs to be done.

The Coroner issued his warning after the inquest into the death of a local Oswaldtwistle man, Trevor Brennand, who died as a result of being exposed to asbestos.

Mr Brennand, aged 72, died following the discovery of malignant mesothelioma on 11th July 2016.

Mr Brennand used to work for RP Townley Ltd in Accrington as a joiner from 1959 to 1965.  When he was an apprentice, he would cut large asbestos sheets for fire doors and girders.

Mr Brennand said before his early death in July, “I was not exposed to asbestos every week but overall I would estimate I was exposed to asbestos for an overall period of about one month out of every year and I believe this was my most significant exposure to asbestos.”

Later, he went onto work for ‘Shop Fitters Lancashire Ltd’ based in Oswaldtwistle from 1965 to 1988.  Here, he was also exposed to asbestos as it was used for suspended ceilings and to cover radiators.

Asbestos related deaths are a ticking timebomb says Coroner - Michael Singleton, Coroner for Blackburn and Hyndburn in Lancashire

Coroner rules death caused by asbestos exposure

After the inquest, the Coroner ruled that Mr Brennand, as a direct result of exposure to asbestos during his worklife, died from the deadly asbestos cancer, mesothelioma.

Mr Singleton said, “It seems quite remarkable that something we were doing 30, 40, or even 50 years ago, which at the time we seemed to think was some sort of miracle substance, because of its ability in terms of conductivity and insulation, that it took many decades for anyone to suddenly think ‘hang on a minute, maybe there are problems here”

“I was told by those who are far more learned than I that we would see a peak of cases around 2014 followed by a gradual dropping off.”

“I have to say that’s not my experience. In this part of the world at least, the number of cases continues to rise.”

“Which leads me to the conclusion that there were many people who were exposed to asbestos that are walking around like ticking time bombs.”

“What it makes me wonder is what are we doing now that in 20 or 30 years time we will be saying ‘Really? We allowed people to do that?”


Source of article: by Jon MacPherson


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Published Oct 03, 2016
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