Heating engineer killed by asbestos, 50 years on

A woman who claims her dad died from mesothelioma has told of her pain at losing him after a short battle with the asbestos-related disease, the Leigh Journal has reported.

Sharon Floweth says her dad Roy Gibson was diagnosed with the aggressive form of cancer in February and died at the age of 70 just a month later, on March 20. She said:

“He was fit and well but then in December he started suffering from breathlessness. I cannot describe how bad the change in him became. It was harrowing.

He went from independent to completely dependent in such a short space of time. I want to raise awareness of mesothelioma so that other people are aware of the dangers.”

Mesothelioma typically develops more than 20 years after exposure to asbestos.

Roy worked as a design engineer for a heating systems company from 1960 to 1970. As part of his job he had to remove asbestos from boiler rooms on a regular basis, claims Sharon.

The mum-of-one added:

“We are awaiting an inquest into dad’s death. Inquests for people diagnosed with mesothelioma can take up to six months. Cases like my dad’s are becoming more and more common, especially in the north west with its industrial history.

It is not just the people who worked with asbestos who can end up with mesothelioma, it is also their families. Asbestos dust was brought into people’s homes on clothes after work.”

Sharon, 43, also lost her mum Eileen last year. She was married to Roy for 48 years. Roy was a keen artist who Sharon says was well known in Leigh for helping people.

More than 2,600 people are diagnosed mesothelioma each year in the UK.

The use of asbestos was completely banned in 1999 but materials containing asbestos are still found in many older buildings.