The wife of a firefighter in Nunthorpe, Ireland has died of mesothelioma caused by secondhand exposure to asbestos.
The Sunday Sun reports that Kathleen Thompson, age 54, developed the aggressive asbestos-caused cancer due to her exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothes of her husband Alan, age 56, who has worked most of his adult life as a firefighter in the town.
An inquest stated that Mrs. Thompson’s disease was almost certainly caused by exposure to asbestos dust from the firehouse. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a cancer which attacks the lining of the lungs and causes a quick and painful death.
In a statement read at the inquest, Mr. Thompson said that at the fire station in Middlesbrough, where he previously worked, there was a large pipe in the basement which was lagged with asbestos. He added that the firefighters used to hang their gear in the basement, where they would spend a lot of their time.
Mr. Thompson also reported that the lagging on the pipe was ripped and left hanging, and that workers would often sweep up the asbestos left lying around on the floors. The dust also gathered on other items stored in the basement.
Mr. Thompson said he was not surprised at the outcome of the inquest, assuming that his wife had developed the disease due to his work at the firehouse.