Inquest in Bolton is told how scaffolder could have breathed in asbestos during childhood

A former scaffolder may have died through exposure to asbestos on his father’s clothing, an inquest has heard.

Alan Cooper, aged 52, died at Royal Bolton Hospital on September 28 last year from malignant mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that most people get after being exposed to asbestos particles.

Bolton Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Cooper thought that he had been exposed to small amounts of asbestos at times throughout his working life and when he was a child his father, William, who was also a scaffolder, may have exposed him to low level of asbestos from dirty work clothes and equipment when he came home in the evenings.

Pathologist Patrick Waugh said it was likely that Mr Cooper, from Deane, had been exposed at a younger age as, after asbestos particles are inhaled, it can take decades for the disease to form. He said:

“This is one of the youngest cases that I have seen. People who commonly get this disease are people exposed in 1960’s and 1970’s when we didn’t know that asbestos was a problem.”

Assistant coroner Rachael Griffin, who recorded a narrative conclusion that Mr Cooper died from from malignant mesothelioma, said:

“This is very sad and a very unusual case.”

A married Bolton Wanderers’ fan, Mr Cooper remained in Bolton for all of his life and the court heard was a very sociable and popular person.

Health problems forced his retirement 11 years ago and, as symptoms of malignant mesothelioma began to show up, he was diagnosed with the disease in April last year.