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May 25, 2018

Inquest hears three family members died from asbestos-related cancer

Two brothers and a sister died from a rare form of cancer related to asbestos exposure, an inquest has heard.

At the inquest into the death of 65-year-old Charlie Glass from Broadford Rise, Ballinteer, Dublin 16, who passed away from asbestos-related cancer at St Vincent’s Hospital on September 14th of last year, the Dublin coroner heard that his brother and sister also died as a result of exposure to fibres of the dangerous substance.

All three were separately exposed to asbestos. His son, David Glass, told the court that his father had worked cutting asbestos sheets at Brooks Thomas building providers in the mid-1960s. This was work he did for three-four years from the age of 14. His uncle was exposed while working as a pipefitter in Australia in the 1960s and 1970s while his aunt had come into contact with asbestos while washing her builder husband’s clothing, also in Australia.

All three died from a mesothelioma, a tumour around the lungs which has a more than 90 per cent association with asbestos exposure.

Charlie Glass was diagnosed with the tumour in October 2009 having gone to a VHI Swiftcare Clinic when he hurt his ribs in a fall at work. Doctors there felt X-rays showed more fluid on his lungs than could be explained by the fall and he was sent for further tests. Initial CT scans did not reveal the presence of cancer and the fluid was drained. However, it subsequently built back up and further scans showed he had developed a mesothelioma.

Charlie Glass did not realise that he had been exposed to asbestos until he was discussing his diagnosis with doctors. It was then that he recalled cutting the asbestos sheets.

“They were cutting asbestos sheets for fire doors. It is fire retardant so, at the time, it was seen as ideal,” said his son. There was no protective gear worn when they were working on the sheets and no awareness of the dangers involved. “They would often have lunch in the same area they were working in,” he told the coroner.

David Glass said when his father was diagnosed he was told that he would have 11 months left. “He ended up getting around four years,” he said.

Doctors considered Charlie Glass, who was a fit man, to be a candidate for radical intervention and he was sent to London where he underwent chemotherapy and surgery. He returned to Ireland and had another two-to-three years of good health but scans subsequently confirmed the cancer had returned. He died on September 14th, 2013, following a deterioration in his health.

The presence of a disseminated mesothelioma was confirmed at autopsy and “numerous asbestos bodies were identified in the lungs”, said coroner Dr Brian Farrell. He said it was “very unfortunate” that the three siblings had died from such a rare cancer.

He returned a verdict of death by occupational related disease.

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Inquest hears three family members died from asbestos-related cancer

Claim for £300k over asbestos death is thrown out

THE family of a company boss who blamed his death from asbestos-related cancer on his work at Marks & Spencer in York have had their hopes of £300,000 compensation dashed by a top judge.

John Thorman Heward, who was managing director of Newcastle-based shopfitters, D.H Allan & Sons Ltd, was 61 when he died in 2009 from mesothelioma, an agonising cancer of the lining of the lungs which is invariably fatal.

Mr Heward, who started working for D.H Allan at the age of 16 before rising through the ranks, blamed his illness on work he carried out for Marks & Spencer Plc between 1967 and 1984.

He was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres whilst carrying out joinery work at a store in York in 1967 and, in later years, whilst modernizing 13 M&S stores across the North East..

Although Mr Heward died years before his case came to court, he made detailed statements which were used during the hearing at London’s High Court.

His wife, Catherine, did not long survive him and the case was pursued by the executors of her estate on behalf of surviving heirs.

Mr Heward had described himself as ‘suit and tie man’ who was unaware of the risks posed by asbestos and who did not start to wear protective clothing until 1984.

The family’s barrister, David Allan QC, told Judge David Pittaway QC that exposure to dust from asbestos tiles and pipe lagging whilst carrying out joinery work and inspecting ceilings in M&S stores was to blame for his “painful and distressing terminal illness”.

The barrister pointed to one alleged incident of exposure in particular, saying that, in 1967, Mr Heward was working beneath an asbestos ceiling which was being fitted at the York branch and quantities of asbestos dust were “falling directly on him.”

The QC added that, although D.H Allan did not work exclusively for M&S, 80% of its work was based at the company’s stores.

The court heard that, during the 1960’s and 1970’s, M&S stores underwent modernization, including having suspended ceilings made of Asbestelux tiles fitted.

After 1984, M&S put in place protocols to protect workers from asbestos, but lawyers argued that Mr Heward’s exposure up to that point was already enough to hand him a death sentence decades later.

Today Judge Pittaway said that asbestos had at the time been “used extensively” in M&S stores, particularly in ceiling tiles.

He added: “I am satisfied that Mr Heward contracted mesothelioma whilst he was carrying out work for D.H Allan at M&S stores sometime between 1967 and 1984”

However, dismissing the compensation claim, the judge said M&S had employed specialist contractors to carry out the work at the York store.

By the standards of the time, he ruled, it was “not reasonably foreseeable” that the presence of asbestos would pose a threat to the health of others working there.

Knowledge of the asbestos hazard was still developing in the 1960s and 1970s, and the level of Mr Heward’s exposure when inspecting and surveying ceiling voids would have been lower than hygiene or control limits in force at the time.

The judge concluded: “It follows that, in my view, the claim against M&S fails on both the exposure to asbestos that the deceased experienced in the York store in 1967, and in stores subsequently, whilist inspecting store premises”

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Claim for £300k over asbestos death is thrown out

Asbestos caused lung cancer death of Barnstaple bus driver

a man in a gas mask and hat holding asbestos in gloved hands: Asbestos exposure may have occured when the man worked in the building trade.

Asbestos exposure may have occured when the man worked in the building trade.


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A RETIRED bus driver died of lung cancer, brought on by contact with asbestos while working in the building trade, an inquest heard.

An inquest, at North Devon Magistrates’ Court today, to look into the death of Meryn Gates, 69, who was originally from Sussex, but at the time of his death was living near New Barnstaple Road, in Ilfracombe.

The court heard that in April 2012 Mr Gates attended his local doctors’ surgery after he had been suffering from a dry cough for eight weeks.

He was later diagnosed with a malignant mesothelioma, a form of cancer that causes an abnormal amount of fluid between thin layers of tissue lining on the outside of the lung and the wall of the chest cavity.

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A statement was read out from a friend of Mr Gates, Norma Hann. She said that that Mr Gates was not sure of when he had come in contact with asbestos but he had being in the building trade at various points in his life.

He had received a pay-out from the Government because of the asbestos exposure when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Deputy coroner John Tomalin accepted the pathologist’s cause of death as being malignant mesothelioma after coming into contact with asbestos while undertaking building work in Sussex.

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Asbestos caused lung cancer death of Barnstaple bus driver

Exposure to asbestos led to man's death

Exposure to asbestos led to man’s death

Dorset Echo: Exposure to asbestos led to man's death

Exposure to asbestos led to man’s death

YEARS of exposure to asbestos led to the death of a West Dorset man, a coroner has ruled.

John Robert Jarvis, of Glebe Court, Beaminster, died after inhaling the toxic fibres during several years of working in maintenance, an inquest at County Hall heard.

Mr Jarvis, aged 81, was diagnosed with plural plaques a few years ago and began legal proceedings against two companies he had worked for.

After his death last December, a post mortem revealed he had malignant mesothelioma, which is a cancer caused most commonly by exposure to asbestos.

For some part of his employment, Mr Jarvis was required to crawl through manholes lined with asbestos, the inquest heard.

He had made a statement in legal proceedings saying he was never provided with protective equipment and no risk assessments were ever carried out.

He added: “We simply weren’t told about the risks.”

Recording a verdict that Mr Jarvis died of an industrial disease, coroner for Dorset Sheriff Payne said people suffering from asbestos-related diseases often don’t know ‘for tens of years’ after they have finished being exposed to it.

He added: “I am satisfied that Mr Jarvis has died as a result of exposure to asbestos.”

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Exposure to asbestos led to man's death

Asbestos link to pensioner's death

Asbestos link to pensioner’s death

Daily Echo: Asbestos link to pensioner's death

Asbestos link to pensioner’s death

A HAMPSHIRE man died due to a combination of heart disease and asbestos exposure, an inquest heard.

Bert Wells, 81, was exposed to the substance during a four-year stint at Marchwood Power Station, starting in 1957.

A post-mortem found Mr Wells, of Haltons Close, Totton, had asbestos fibres in his lungs but also suffered from heart disease.

Dr Adrian Bateman, pathologist at University Hospital Southampton, said the asbestos was not the primary cause of death but would have increased the strain on his heart.

Mr Wells died at Southampton General Hospital in October.

Coroner Keith Wiseman recorded a verdict of death due to natural causes contributed to by asbestos exposure.

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Asbestos link to pensioner's death

Asbestos school reopens in new year

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Asbestos school reopens in new year

Asbestos policy review could save lives


Asbestos policy review could save lives


GEORGINA STYLIANOU

Last updated 05:00 20/11/2013

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An EQC policy of covering up asbestos in hundreds of quake-damaged Canterbury homes could be overhauled by the Government amid concerns about serious health risks.

Government officials have previously raised concerns about the way asbestos is being handled in post-earthquake Canterbury, but say the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Bill next month will make guidelines more clear for construction workers.

Staff from WorkSafe – the new health and safety regulator – were in Christchurch yesterday and told The Press it would be naive to think there would not be asbestos-related illnesses in the future.

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has previously said up to 43,000 Christchurch homes due for quake repairs could contain the potentially fatal substance.

It estimated that in 10 per cent of cases, asbestos found in ceilings or walls was encased behind plasterboard, instead of being removed.

A Fletcher spokesman said about 15 to 16 per cent of houses that tested positive for asbestos were being encased.

The chairman of the WorkSafe establishment board, Gregor Coster, believed the encasement policy should be “reconsidered carefully” because it posed serious health risks in the future.

“An electrician might be rewiring a house and is put at risk and this is not what we should be doing in terms of managing health and safety,” he said.

An EQC spokesman yesterday said if there were any changes to regulations it would comply.

Coster said contractors across the region needed to be better at testing for asbestos.

“The truth of the matter is I am concerned about the potential exposure . . . particularly during that early demolition phase,” he said.

Geoffrey Podger, the acting chief executive of the WorkSafe establishment unit, said only a certain percentage of asbestos breaches in the city were identified.

“Our inspectors can’t be everywhere, but equally if everyone could carry out their legislative duties, they wouldn’t need to be,” he said.

MBIE health and safety inspector Steve Moran said the influence of big project management firms – including Arrow International and Fletcher – was having a “huge effect in lifting the performance of smaller companies”.

Canterbury District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey, who has been fighting for EQC to review its encasement policy since 2011, said it would have been cost-effective and logical to remove asbestos from houses when repairs were being done.

He urged the Government to follow in the footsteps of Australia and make a commitment to remove asbestos.


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However, it was good news the policy could be reviewed.

“The Christchurch community and the New Zealand population will reap the benefits of [WorkSafe and MBIE’s] courage,” Humphrey said.

– © Fairfax NZ News

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Asbestos policy review could save lives

Asbestos registry now law in Saskatchewan

REGINA – The Saskatchewan government has marked the death of a man who advocated for asbestos safety by officially enacting a new law making asbestos reporting mandatory.

Thursday’s proclamation of the law will require Crown corporations, school districts, health regions and the provincial government to ensure their buildings are listed on the province’s on-line registry if there is asbestos present anywhere in their facilities.

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The law is named for Howard Willems, who died a year ago Thursday of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos while on his job as a federal food inspector.

“We’re the first (province) in Canada that has mandated a registry and the first one that has brought it up,” said Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan.

He gave Willems the credit for making it happen.

Willems spent years inspecting old dairy and honey facilities, which often used asbestos in building materials.

Before his death he formed the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, aiming to have the government create a public registry of buildings with asbestos in them.

On the anniversary of his stepfather’s death, Jesse Todd was there to see the new measure proclaimed.

“It’s a tremendous day,” he said. “It’s very gratifying to see it pass. It’s been a long year.”

Todd stressed that this is “Howard’s legacy, hoping that the recognition of the right to know for workers will help keep them safe.”

© The Canadian Press, 2013

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Asbestos registry now law in Saskatchewan

Asbestos registry proclaimed as law at Saskatchewan's legislature

REGINA – The Saskatchewan government has marked the death of a man who advocated for asbestos safety by officially enacting a new law making asbestos reporting mandatory.

Thursday’s proclamation of the law will require Crown corporations, school districts, health regions and the provincial government to ensure their buildings are listed on the province’s on-line registry if there is asbestos present anywhere in their facilities.

The law is named for Howard Willems, who died a year ago Thursday of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos while on his job as a federal food inspector.

“We’re the first (province) in Canada that has mandated a registry and the first one that has brought it up,” said Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan.

He gave Willems the credit for making it happen.

Willems spent years inspecting old dairy and honey facilities, which often used asbestos in building materials.

Before his death he formed the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, aiming to have the government create a public registry of buildings with asbestos in them.

On the anniversary of his stepfather’s death, Jesse Todd was there to see the new measure proclaimed.

“It’s a tremendous day,” he said. “It’s very gratifying to see it pass. It’s been a long year.”

Todd stressed that this is “Howard’s legacy, hoping that the recognition of the right to know for workers will help keep them safe.”

(CJME)

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Asbestos registry proclaimed as law at Saskatchewan's legislature

Asbestos school closed until 2014

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Asbestos school closed until 2014