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Death of former carpenter attributed to asbestos exposure

Death of former carpenter attributed to asbestos exposure

Friday 05 August 2022

Death of former carpenter attributed to asbestos exposure

Friday 05 August 2022


The death of a "sociable" former carpenter, who was "always helping people", was due to high levels of asbestos exposure during his working years, an inquest has concluded.

Peter John Lawlor (73), know as Jackie, passed away on 7 April 2022 from malignant mesothelioma and bronchopneumonia, which was described as "likely reflective of prior exposure" to asbestos fibres.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which affects the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.

The level of asbestos fibres found in Mr Lawlor's lungs after his death was 1.03 million fibres per gram of uninvolved lung tissue, which is over three times more than the expected amount. 

Asbestos fibre concentrations exceeding 1 million fibres per gram of dry tissue are said to be highly indicative of past occupational exposure to asbestos.

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Pictured: The inquest was held at Morier House yesterday.

Analysis of Mr Lawlor's lung tissue was conducted by Dr Richard Attanoos, a Consultant Pathologist in Cardiff who has a special interest in occupational and environmental pulmonary pathology, especially asbestos-related disease and mineral fibre analysis. 

Mr Lawlor had been suffering from mesothelioma for a year but deteriorated significantly a week before his death. He had developed an additional chest infection and was suffering from a persistent cough and shortness of breath. After being admitted to hospital following a fall at home, he sadly passed away.

During the inquest, Mr Lawlor's partner of 28 years, Linda, paid tribute to him.

She described him as "sociable and always helping people". She added that, even when his illness made him "physically weak", he remained "mentally strong".

Concluding yesterday's inquest, Deputy Viscount, Advocate Mark Harris gave Mr Lawlor's family and friends his condolences and said that he was "very sorry for their loss".

Past exposure to asbestos currently kills around 5,000 workers each year in the UK, which is more than the number of people killed on the roads.

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Pictured: More people die due to asbestos exposure each year in the UK than on the roads.

No compensation was previously available in Jersey for people who have mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos fibres until a successful proposition by Reform Jersey Deputy Carina Alves.

After she secured the backing of the States Assembly, the Government set up a scheme in 2019 with compensation allocated based on age at diagnosis and can range up to £92,000. Where a person does not receive a payment prior to their death, a close relative can apply.

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