Asbestos link to death

A RETIRED gas board mains supervisor who had previously worked as a joiner on ships died of an asbestos-related illness, an inquest heard.

Thomas Allison, 88, of Peebles Avenue, Hartlepool, died from diffuse malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer, as a result of asbestos exposure.

Hartlepool coroner Malcolm Donnelly gave the verdict at a hearing at Hartlepool Coroner’s Court after receiving the results of a post mortem examination carried out by consultant pathologist Dr Catherine Hobday.

Mr Allison’s daughter, Janice Royal, provided Mr Donnelly with details of her father’s work history.

This included time as an apprentice joiner with a company called Prouds, serving as an aircraftsman with the RAF during the Second World War and working on American ships at Haverton Hill.

The inquest heard the ships had to be fire-proofed with asbestos and the wood he used was fire-proofed.

Mr Allison had also worked at the steelworks in Greatham in the late 1950s before going to work for the water board.

Mr Donnelly said the fibre count in Mr Allison’s lungs was 207,000 per gram of tissue.

He added: “This is four times the background level.

“The evidential link with his work is there and I’m satisfied that this was an industrial disease.”