February 18, 2019

Dock worker died after asbestos exposure

Dock worker Edgar Wardrop died after asbestos exposure

Southampton General Hospital

Southampton General Hospital

First published

A FORMER Southampton dock worker died after unloading asbestos from boats for over 20 years, an inquest heard.

Edgar Wardrop, of Bullar Street, died on September 4 at Southampton General Hospital after being diagnosed with mesothelioma the previous year.

Senior coroner for Southampton and the New Forest, Grahame Short, heard how the 73-year-old stevedore unloaded hessian bags filled with asbestos from boats that had travelled from the Cape of Good Hope.

Dr Sanjay Jogai, a consultant pathologist at Southampton General Hospital, said Mr Wardrop had a severe tumour which was a direct result of asbestos exposure.

Recording a verdict of death due to industrial disease, Mr Short said: “Given the very clear diagnoses and the correlation and the asbestos exposure, taking that with his work history and employment where asbestos was present, and he was working in close proximity to it, I find on balance of probability that he breathed in this and he died from asbestos.”

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Dock worker died after asbestos exposure

Asbestos gave railway worker cancer, inquest hears

Asbestos gave Eastleigh railway worker cancer, inquest hears

Asbestos gave railway worker cancer, inquest hears

Asbestos gave railway worker cancer, inquest hears

First published

Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author


AN Eastleigh man who worked for 40 years at the town’s railway works died of cancer caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, an inquest heard.

Eric Williams, 73, was employed at the works from 1956 to 1995 and was constantly exposed to the deadly dust which when inhaled can cause mesothelioma decades later.

He joined as apprentice aged 15 and worked his way up to chief foreman.

In a statement made shortly before his death in August, Mr Williams, of Passfield Avenue, said in the 1950s the carriages used to be sprayed with asbestos at night: “The asbestos hanged in the air. It was clearly visible. The asbestos dust and debris we gathered and recycled it as a filler and plugs.

In the 1960s Mr Williams renovated carriages: “A huge amount of dust was created. Asbestos was allowed to fall to the floor. I was showered in the face with asbestos dust. It created dust hanging in the air like mist.

“At no time was I ever warned about the dangers of being exposed to asbestos. No protection was provided, not even a mask.”

Senior Coroner Grahame Short at an inquest in Winchester ruled that the death from mesothelioma was caused by industrial disease.

Mr Short added: “Far too many men working in the carriage works have died as a result of this particular cancer.”

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Asbestos gave railway worker cancer, inquest hears

James Hardie Q1 profit slides 80 pct, warns of slower US recovery

* FX changes on asbestos compensation claims hit profit

* US housing market improving slower than expected

* Company’s FY 2015 outlook below analyst forecasts (Adds profit detail, shares, housing market outlook)

SYDNEY, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Australia’s James Hardie Industries PLC , the world’s biggest fibre cement products maker, said on Friday its first-quarter earnings tumbled and warned full-year profit will fall short of analyst expectations as the U.S. housing market recovers more slowly than it previously anticipated.

The firm, which generates two-thirds of its revenue in the United States and Europe, saw its Sydney-listed shares slump after it said net profit for the first quarter of its fiscal year skidded 80 percent. The earnings drop was mainly because of unfavourable changes in exchange rates as the company pays compensation for claims of health damage from historic use of asbestos in products.

Net profit for the three months to June 30 fell to $28.9 million compared to $142.2 million a year ago. Not including asbestos adjustments, gross profit grew 11 percent to $140 million, while revenue rose 12 percent to $416.8 million.

But the company, which supplies products like cladding for the outside walls of houses, presented a more muted outlook on the recovery in the U.S. housing construction market than it gave when it reported results for the previous fiscal year three months ago.

In Sydney James Hardie shares fell as much as 7.5 percent to touch four-month lows. By 0011 GMT the stock had recovered slightly, trading 6.8 percent lower at A$13.08.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, the company said while the U.S. market was improving, with housing starts in the first quarter up 4 percent from a year earlier, the improvement was at “a more moderate level than originally assumed for the year”.

“Recent flattening in housing activity has created some uncertainty about the pace of the recovery in the short-term,” the statement said. “Although U.S. housing activity has been improving for some time, market conditions remain somewhat uncertain and some input costs remain volatile.”

James Hardie noted analysts have forecast it will post operating profit excluding asbestos compensation costs of between $226 million and $261 million for the full financial year. But the company said it expects the result to be in the range of $205 million to $235 million, compared with $197.2 million for the previous year.

(1 US dollar = 1.0733 Australian dollar) (Reporting By Byron Kaye and Jane Wardell; Editing by Chris Reese and Kenneth Maxwell)

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James Hardie Q1 profit slides 80 pct, warns of slower US recovery

Health effects of Mr Fluffy asbestos exposure to be studied

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Asbestos was in the air everyone breathed all the time, given its use in so many building materials, he said. Until recently, every time a bus used its brakes a burst of asbestos fibres was released because brake pads had been made of asbestos. Biopsies of lungs suggested asbestos was present in the lungs of most Australians, he said.

While low exposures could cause disease, the risk increased with intensity of exposure or time, he said. Short, sharp exposures such as during home renovations increased risk, as did lower exposures over a long period. When he asked how many people at Sunday’s forum had done home renovations, most put up their hands.

But even with high exposures, most people would not get sick, Dr Pengilley said, pointing out that the vast majority of people in the Western Australia asbestos mining town, Wittenoom, never developed an asbestos-related disease.

Among home renovators exposed to asbestos, five in 100,000 people a year developed mesothelioma after 35 years, he said. Among Wittenoom residents, the annual risk of developing mesothelioma was 26 in 100,000. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs. Two Mr Fluffy residents have been diagnosed with the disease this year; one recently died.

Asbestosis is another asbestos-caused disease, but Dr Pengilley said he did not expect people living in Mr Fluffy homes to develop the condition, which was marked by scarring on the lungs and breathing problems. He said asbestosis was generally seen in people who had been exposed to a lot of asbestos.

The residents at the forum questioned officials about risks to their health, both physical and psychological, and the potential for the loss of their homes and “everything they’ve worked for”.

Some urged fellow residents to stay calm given the low risk, while others warned against complacency.

The forum heard concerns about the quality of asbestos assessments and the difficulty of notifying tradespeople, family and friends who had been in contaminated homes.

The head of thoracic medicine at Canberra Hospital, Mark Hurwitz, said experts were divided on the value of having a chest X-ray. But in his view it was worthwhile as a baseline with which to compare health problems that occurred down the track.

Chest X-rays were of low-dose radiation – the same as flying to Brisbane – he said. But he stressed they had no value for predicting whether you would get sick later.

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Health effects of Mr Fluffy asbestos exposure to be studied