December 11, 2018

Asbestos legacy claims another life

Asbestos claims life of Peter Abbott

Photograph of the Author
By Mike Laycock
, Chief reporter

Peter Abbott

Peter Abbott

A WIDOW has spoken out about York’s terrible asbestos legacy following an inquest into the death of her husband.

Peter Abbott, of The Glade, Heworth, who died in April, aged 73, started work at the former York Carriageworks as a fitter in the repair shop in 1965 and worked there until 1988.

His inquest was told that he regularly cut through carriages which were lagged with blue asbestos and tests later found large quantities of asbestos dust in rest areas.

York Coroner Donald Coverdale concluded he died of the industrial disease, pulmonary fibrosis.

Mr Abbott’s widow, June, who is keen to raise awareness of asbestos, said: “Peter is one of many men who will die of asbestos disease. We have seen many of his former workmates die of these diseases.

“Peter thought he had only suffered minor asbestos disease when it was first noticed in 2003.

“He went on to suffer terribly because of it.”

Her solicitor, Howard Bonnett of Corries Solicitors Limited, said: “Mr Abbot’s death is another sad reminder of the legacy of asbestos disease in York.

“The dose of blue asbestos he suffered clearly caused damage which affected his later years and ruined what he had hoped to be a long and loving retirement.

“This inquest has shown that asbestos disease can get worse after diagnosis. People who are diagnosed with asbestos disease, even of a minor degree, should keep an watchful eye on their condition and seek professional help if their condition feels worse.”

Paul Cooper, a former carriageworks union official who campaigns on the asbestos issue, said: “The site remained contaminated with asbestos and other chemicals until its closure and had to be cleaned up by a specialist cleaning company at a cost of £80,000.

“The recording of asbestos workplace exposure by GPs is vitally important to identify and treat asbestos victims.”

Another inquest was held into the death of John Greenhalgh, 72, of Strensall, who worked as a coach builder at the works and died as a result of the asbestos-related disease, peritoneal mesothelioma.

The asbestos timebomb from the carriageworks in Holgate Road, which closed down in the 1990s, is thought to have claimed more than 140 lives.

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Asbestos legacy claims another life

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