A heating engineer died after being exposed to asbestos 30 years ago, a coroner has ruled.
57-year-old Peter Edwards, from Westbourne, died in February after being admitted to a local hospice. He was told that he was suffering with mesothelioma in 2014, described at the inquest, held in Chichester in April, as ‘absolutely devastating’ for him and his family’.
Mr Edwards began working as an apprentice in Emsworth when he was 15. He worked on installing, maintaining and repairing boilers in the local area, including at the barracks on Thorney Island.
The inquest heard that Mr Edwards wasn’t told of the dangers of working with asbestos at the time and hadn’t been issued with any protective clothing to shield him from the risks of exposure. Prior to being diagnosed with mesothelioma he had lived a healthy life, didn’t smoke and had never been to hospital before being diagnosed with the disease, which is almost always linked to asbestos exposure.
Penelope Schofield, Senior coroner for West Sussex concluded that Mr Edwards had died as a result of an industrial disease, which developed after he was exposed to asbestos during the 1970s and 1980s.
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