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Gloucestershire Business News

Former Cirencester apprentice died of asbestos related cancer

A Cirencester man who had to mix asbestos powder with water to lag pipes during his plumbing apprenticeship more than half a century ago died from a form of cancer caused by exposure to the deadly mineral, an inquest heard last week.

Ian Jones, 69, of Corinium Gate, Cirencester, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma early last year and died on September 1, 2023, the Gloucester inquest was told on March 26.

Area Coroner Roland Wooderson recorded a conclusion that Mr Jones died of pneumonia after contracting malignant mesothelioma resulting of asbestos exposure early in his working life.

Mr Jones' wife, Jane, stated that he had told her that when he was 16, he worked for a family building business in Malmesbury, as an apprentice plumber.

"He recalled mixing asbestos powder with water to lag pipes," she said. "It was normal at that time. They referred to the mix as monkey dung."

The coroner said that as part of the post mortem examination of Mr Jones an asbestos mineral fibre count was carried out by a specialist at Sheffield who found that he had 106,195 fibres per gram of lung tissue.

This was regarded as a moderate level of uncoated fibres which might well have led to Mr Jones suffering from the abdominal, or peritoneal, mesothelioma which caused his death.

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