Mesothelioma is a cancer which is caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. The time from being exposed to asbestos to being diagnosed with mesothelioma is typically very long, usually in excess of 30 years.
However, if you think that mesothelioma is a disease for elderly people who have previously worked in trades which used asbestos, then you are very much mistaken.
Take, for example, the very sad case of Lee Mullins, a former Essex rugby player, who sadly died in April following a battle with peritoneal mesothelioma.
The Coroner clearly concluded that mesothelioma is never a naturally occurring disease. In this case however there was no clear occupational history of exposure to asbestos so an open verdict was recorded.
It was speculated that a possible cause of the mesothelioma may have been exposure to asbestos during house repairs which were carried out after a car crashed into his home. However, there was by no means sufficient evidence to establish that as a cause of the mesothelioma.
South Woodham Ferrers RUFC paid tribute to Mr Mullins. They describe him as a true legend of the Club who will be sadly missed by all.
Unfortunately, it goes to show that asbestos is a disease which can affect everyone, even those who have not worked with asbestos directly. Indeed, here at Boyes Turner, we have successfully concluded many claims for people who have never worked with asbestos but have been exposed in other ways, such as washing the asbestos covered overalls of a partner or simply being present in the family home when asbestos dust is brought in by a relative on their clothes.