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Woman's friends launch asbestos information appeal

Woman's friends launch asbestos information appeal

The friends of a woman who died of the incurable mesothelioma cancer have appealed for information about her working conditions.

Jean Cooper, 79 from Teignmouth, died over a year ago and friends think the former hospital employee may have been exposed to asbestos during her time at the Wonford Hospital medical facility.

Mrs Cooper was a switchboard supervisor at the now demolished institution in Exeter and friends of the late woman believe she may have been put in contact with the carcinogenic insulator when the institution was under construction in 1974.

After she was diagnosed with the incurable cancer, the woman turned to solicitors and told them to try and find out if she had been exposed to asbestos.

When she passed away her friends carried on her case and are looking for justice for her.

However, the fact the Wonford Hospital has been demolished leaves much of the evidence that could have proven the presence of the toxic substance lost - meaning those involved in the construction process of the facility must come forward to help solve the mystery.

Howard Leach, a close friend of Mrs Cooper, said: "Jean was shocked by her diagnosis - working on the switchboards, it didn't even cross her mind that she could be at risk from an industrial disease.

"I remember her saying that the hospital was an extremely dusty environment while it was being built and that she often worked alongside the builders, so maybe that was when she was exposed."

Mr Leach urged anybody who had any information to come forward and tell the woman's lawyers about working conditions at her workplace.

Increasing numbers of people who were exposed to asbestos before it was banned are coming forward to claim compensation that they are entitled to.

Breathing in fibres of the insulation material coats the inside of the lungs in particles and can cause cancer.

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Posted by Francesca Witney