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Hampshire painter and decorator died following asbestos exposure

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An inquest has head how a painter and decorator who was exposed to asbestos while working at the Isle of Wight prisons died of mesothelioma

The man died at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice on 16 July 2018, at the age of 85.

The man who lived in Ryde, worked at the prisons for 14 years from 1974. Following his diagnosis of mesothelioma, he made a statement about his exposure to asbestos. He recalled large amounts of asbestos dust being present, when sheets of asbestos and lagging around the boilers were removed. He would have to brush off the residue to re-seal the boilers. Whilst the man stated that he did wear a mask, he did not wear a suit, and the masks were so insufficient they were often taken off.

Latterly, he became a health and safety union rep but said nothing was done about the dust. The workers would simply go outside for some fresh air.

The coroner concluded that following exposure to a significant amount of asbestos, the man died of the industrial disease malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive, treatment-resistant cancerous tumour which primarily affects the pleura (lungs) and peritoneum (stomach). More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK. Most cases that are diagnosed tend to be in people aged 60 to 80, and men tend to be more commonly affected than women.

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a general term used for a group of fibrous minerals known for their thermal resistance, strength and acoustic insulation. Several types of asbestos were commonly used commercially such as blue asbestos (crocidolite), brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile).

The symptoms of mesothelioma can often take up to 40 years to develop and most commonly present as: a persistent cough, breathlessness, wheezing, chest pain, fatigue and weight loss. In cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, symptoms could include stomach pain, stomach swelling and nausea. It is most commonly diagnosed on chest xrays, CT scans and by taking biopsies.

Johnathan Steventon-Kiy, specialist industrial disease lawyer, says:

“Sadly cases of mesothelioma are common in those who worked in commercial trades such as electricians, plumbers, boiler makers, building and construction workers and any other trades in which asbestos was commonly used. It can also affect the families of those who used asbestos such as a spouse who may have washed dusty clothes/overalls. The effects of mesothelioma are devastating and it is important that an experienced specialist asbestos disease solicitor assists the Claimant, or their estate, to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is received. The specialist solicitors in Biscoes Industrial Disease team have many years of experience pursuing these sorts of cases.”

Contact our specialist personal injury, medical negligence and industrial disease solicitors on 0800 413 463 or visit for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg