The deadly legacy of the asbestos factory to one family

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The deadly legacy of the asbestos factory to one family

Published on Mon Dec 20 16:35:02 GMT 2010

A WOMAN whose parents worked at the Cape Asbestos factory, Old Town, died of mesothelioma – the cancer caused by the deadly mineral.

An inquest into the death of Lesley Shirley heard the disease also claimed the life of her brother.

The siblings’ parents had worked at Acre Mill, as spinners during the 1950s and 1960s.

The children were exposed to asbestos at Christmas parties held in the factory’s canteen, the Halifax inquest heard.

There was no evidence Mrs Shirley, a retired cleaner, had encountered the mineral during her own employment.

She was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2007.

She died aged 57 at her home in Master Lane, Halifax, on April 7, 2010.

Her older brother, who had moved to the USA, died aged 47 from the same disease.

In a compensation claim before her death, Mrs Shirley recalled picking bilberries and blackberries on moorland near the factory as a child, where there would be “white dust and fluff blowing about”.

The siblings were also exposed to asbestos in their family’s van and from dust on their parents’ clothes, the inquest heard.

Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict of death by industrial disease.

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