There are growing concerns that the families of retired dock workers could have been exposed to deadly asbestos fibres brought home on overalls worn at work by their family members.
Recent reports highlight the concerns after relatives of Mona Patterson, who died from mesothelioma a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres, claim that Mona may have been exposed to deadly asbestos after washing her husband’s work overalls every night for 12 years.
After work Mrs Patterson’s husband would return home “covered in dust” before she shook his overalls out and washed them every night, relatives claim.
In another reported case, retired docker Leonard Faram, who spent around 10 years unloading asbestos fibres from ships in Barking, Essex in the 1960s, now worries his children may have also inhaled the dust which led to wife Annette’s death from a cancer caused by also washing his asbestos-ridden overalls.
Mr Faram states that the factory workers were given protective clothing and masks, but his boss dismissed his repeated requests for dock workers to have protective gear too.
“Even back then people knew asbestos dust was a killer,” he said. “Our employers said it wouldn’t hurt us because we were working in the open air.”
Although Leonard states he knew he was putting his life in danger, he never imagined he was putting his family in harm’s way.
Annette, a retired secretary, died in January 2015 and is one of 8,054 women who have died from mesothelioma in Britain between 1981 and 2015, along with over 45,527 men.
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