How a few minutes of DIY can cost your life years later: Hidden asbestos in homes putting millions at risk from deadly lung disease

Quoted from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2194460/How-minutes-DIY-cost-life-years-later-Hidden-asbestos-homes-putting-millions-risk-deadly-lung-disease.html

How a few minutes of DIY can end up costing you your life: Hidden asbestos in homes putting millions at risk from deadly lung disease

By Anna Hodgekiss

PUBLISHED: 20:43 EST, 27 August 2012 | UPDATED: 05:04 EST, 28 August 2012

Dr Geoffrey Newton, aged 81, died from mesothelioma

Dr Geoffrey Newton, aged 81, died from mesothelioma

Geoffrey Newton had always prided himself on his DIY skills.

Even aged 81, he was fitting a new kitchen and bathroom in his home.

‘Over the years he’d done everything from building a boat to converting an old school house into our home,’ says his wife Pat, 82, a former GP.

‘He was brilliant at DIY. Nothing was ever too much of a challenge.’

Unfortunately, it was this passion that most likely led to Mr Newton’s death in May.

He was suffering from mesothelioma — cancer of the lining of the lungs — caused by exposure to asbestos.

Experts say that even a few hours’ exposure to the toxic fibres can be enough to trigger the condition later in life.

And a few hours was all it had taken for Mr Newton, a leading orthopaedic surgeon, to remove an old central heating boiler packed with white asbestos from his house in Burton-on-Trent.

‘It was 37 years ago, but I still remember all the white dust that came out with it,’ says Pat.

‘At the time, it was known that brown and blue asbestos (there are three types) were dangerous, but not white, so we assumed the dust was harmless.

‘But it’s the only occasion we can think of that Geoffrey was exposed to it, so that must have been the trigger.’

While asbestos has left a cruel legacy for families such as the Newtons, experts are warning it is still very much a risk, mainly due to thousands of homeowners who could unwittingly disturb asbestos while embarking on home renovations.

[Article continues at original source]

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