A heartbreaking search for answers

Former bank clerk receives devastating mesothelioma diagnosis

It’s sad that we still hear all too familiar stories of people being diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. Certainly, here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, we hope to do our bit to help reduce the numbers of such devastating diagnoses in the present and for years to come with our asbestos services, such as the removal of asbestos from construction sites.

One of the latest stories circulating is that of Janet Towler, a former bank clerk from Exeter. Janet was diagnosed with mesothelioma in May of this year, understandably leaving her family extremely upset.


Mesothelioma has claimed too many lives

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lungs or stomach lining, depending on how the asbestos fibres make it into the body.

What distinguishes mesothelioma from other forms of cancer is that it can take years – often decades – for the sufferer to show any detectable symptoms. By then, it is generally too late for much to be done, aside from helping the sufferer to maintain as high a quality of life as possible.

Such a tendency for mesothelioma symptoms to only surface at a very late stage, together with greater awareness in recent times of the dangers of asbestos, helps to explain why so many cases – including Janet’s – have appeared in the news in the last few years.

When someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma, their career history is often investigated so that it can be established where and when they came into contact with the asbestos fibres.

For Janet, it may be her time working as a bank clerk from 1978 to 1982 that was the most likely period of exposure, as she recalled that a major refurbishment took place, adding: “I remember the enormous clouds of dust as I performed my duties”.


A heartbreaking search for answers

Janet and her family are now working with a specialist asbestos disease solicitor to gain some insight into how she developed the disease.

Before her diagnosis – which came about following a persistent cough – Janet was “fit and well and thoroughly enjoying my retirement and spending time with my family.”

The family’s solicitor, Andrew Stinchcombe, stated: “Unfortunately, thousands of people die each year as a result of just going about their everyday lives, working to make a living and getting exposed to asbestos dust.”

This is a sad truth that we know all too well here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, and we would always recommend that you contact us if you have any further queries regarding the removal of asbestos or any of our other acclaimed asbestos services.


A family left heartbroken

Bicester lorry driver is latest victim of mesothelioma

 The need for the services and expertise of asbestos removal contractors sadly remains as pressing today as it has ever been, but this need is even further highlighted by the saddening stories of asbestos-related deaths that continue to make the rounds in the news.

Just one of those tragic stories to have been reported as of late is that of a former lorry driver from Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Another tragic victim of industrial disease

Raymond Brookfield died in January this year from mesothelioma, a practically incurable form of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos.

Health problems forced Raymond to give up work in May 2015, followed just a month later by his diagnosis with the lethal disease. After his death, Ray’s family enlisted the assistance of expert industrial disease lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, in their efforts to establish how exactly he came into contact with the toxic former building material. As with most mesothelioma cases, the first step was to explore Raymond’s work history.

In the 1970s, Raymond delivered and assembled prefabricated garages for Banbury Buildings Ltd and Compton Buildings Ltd respectively. Parts of these buildings – mainly the roofs – were made from asbestos. He later became a lorry driver, a job that he adored and intended to work in for as long as he could. Sadly, he became too weak to do his job shortly before his diagnosis.

A family left heartbroken

Although it may seem odd to some that Raymond developed the disease decades after his initial exposure to asbestos, this is one of the aspects of mesothelioma that makes it so devastating. The disease can lie dormant for tens of years, meaning that by the time any detectable symptoms surface, it is often too late to do much else other than maintain the highest possible quality of life for the sufferer for as long as possible.

Raymond’s son Gary – also a lorry driver – described the family as “devastated by his death”, adding that “knowing exactly how he came to be exposed to asbestos would answer a lot of questions that have troubled us since he was diagnosed.”

Raymond and his family’s story is one that we have seen repeated in a similar vein too many times, which is another reason why here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, we are so motivated to do what we can to help prevent further tragedies. Please contact us to find out more about the know-how and services that our renowned asbestos removal contractors can provide.


Asbestos in the workplace still an issue today

Former Marlow teacher loses battle against mesothelioma

A former teacher who was campaigning for the removal of asbestos in schools sadly lost her battle against asbestos-related disease this week.

Sue Stephens, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, had been fighting mesothelioma for some time before she died. The disease – a form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs and sometimes stomach – is practically terminal, and can lie dormant for decades before the sufferer begins to display symptoms.


Asbestos in the workplace still an issue today

Sue’s family and Simpson Millar Solicitors are continuing their investigations into how and where Sue came to be exposed to the deadly substance.

When determining how someone has come into contact with asbestos, the first theory often considered is that it occurred in the workplace. This is nearly always the case when someone has worked as a construction worker or contractor, but given the large proportion of current UK school buildings erected before asbestos became illegal as a building material in 1999, it has been suggested that she was exposed during her teaching career.

After Sue received her devastating diagnosis, her daughter Lucie launched an online petition calling for the government to strive to protect pupils and staff in schools from exposure to asbestos. The measures that she suggested be taken included the production by every UK school of an annual report about the type and condition of any asbestos on their premises, with such information being shared with all parents and staff. She also urged the government to introduce a policy for the phased removal of asbestos from all schools by 2028.


No one else should have to suffer at the hands of asbestos

The petition has since garnered over 4,000 signatures. Lucie commented: “It’s been touching and incredibly sad that many signing the petition have also lost a relative from asbestos in schools. It has gone on for far too long and I hate the thought that other people will suffer like Mum, when this disease is completely preventable.”

Sue died at home, surrounded by her loving family.

Here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, we are dedicated to doing our utmost to help to reduce the number of asbestos-related tragedies in the future. Please contact us to find out more about our asbestos surveying and removal services and their potential applications to your workplace.

Another sad mesothelioma death

Former Derbyshire joiner killed by work-related exposure to asbestos

We now live in a time of much greater awareness of the dangers surrounding asbestos and what can be done to combat them, including the use of such services as asbestos removal. However, many employers and workers decades ago were unaware of the damage that the then-widespread building-material could afflict upon the health of those working with it – much like in the case of James Shetliffe of Ilkeston, Derby.


Another sad mesothelioma death

Mr Shetliffe sadly died at Ilkeston Community Hospital in April this year, having being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lungs and sometimes stomach, depending on how the asbestos fibres infiltrate the body. It can take decades to show any detectable symptoms. The disease is practically always terminal; due to its extensive dormancy period, it is often too late to do much by the time symptoms make themselves known.


Mr Shetliffe’s inquest aimed to establish at which points during his career he came into contact with asbestos. It was found that he was employed as a joiner for Derbyshire County Council in the 1960s, working in various schools throughout the area, as well as at Elvaston Castle, where he would remove asbestos sheeting from the stables. After his time at the council came to an end, he set up a DIY shop in Ilkeston, where he was no longer exposed to asbestos.


During his time with the council, Mr Shetliffe did not ask his employer for protective equipment, as he was not aware of the dangers. His statement at the inquest read that he “was regularly exposed to broken asbestos… I had no idea it was dangerous at the time. Had I known it was dangerous, I would not have done this job.” A coroner concluded that Mr Shetliffe died as a result of industrial disease after significant exposure to asbestos in the workplace.


Discuss your asbestos safety requirements with Trident Asbestos Solutions

Unfortunately, many more cases similar to Mr Shetliffe’s are continuing to emerge. This simply further highlights the great importance of the work of organisations like Trident Asbestos Solutions in providing the asbestos removal and related services that will help to reduce the number of tragedies caused by asbestos today, tomorrow and many years into the future.


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