Cumbrian plumber wrote account of exposure to ‘killer’ asbestos dust

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Cumbrian plumber wrote account of exposure to ‘killer’ asbestos dust

Published at 08:49, Friday, 09 September 2011

A Carlisle plumber wrote a disturbing account of how, during his early working life, he was routinely exposed to the asbestos dust which ultimately caused his death.

David Irwin was just 60 when he died in July after contracting the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma. He is the latest in a growing number of Cumbrians who have died because they were exposed to the deadly material.

Recalling his work on a council estate in Woodhouse, Whitehaven, he wrote: “We were on site for three to four weeks, repairing and replacing [asbestos] gutters and downspouts.

“We used a handsaw to cut down damaged or broken gutters and replaced them.

“I could not escape the dust. There was dust on my hands as we handled them and when we collected broken pieces and swept up.”

At other times, he said, he was asked to remove large amounts of asbestos lagging from school boilers.

“It was a very dirty and dusty job, and the dust used to get everywhere, all over my boiler suit and my hair.”

As an apprentice in the sixties, it was his job to sweep up the asbestos dust, he said.

Workers were never given masks or asked to dampen down the dust.

[Article continues at original source]

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