‘It has been in­cred­i­bly hard to come to terms with...’

Man with as­bestos-re­lated cancer is ur­gently seek­ing an­swers on dis­ease

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Clementine kather­ine.clementine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A Hilling­don-born re­tired se­cu­rity guard, suf­fer­ing from a ter­mi­nal dis­ease caused by as­bestos, hopes to find an­swers about how he was ex­posed to the ma­te­rial af­ter work­ing at var­i­ous sites in west Lon­don.

Paul Sin­gle­ton, 71, was di­ag­nosed with mesothe­lioma, cancer of the lin­ing of the lung com­monly as­so­ci­ated with ex­po­sure to as­bestos, in Septem­ber af­ter months of strug­gling with a bad cough.

He has joined with le­gal ex­perts to call for help from his for­mer co­work­ers, in­struct­ing as­bestos-re­lated dis­ease lawyers at Ir­win Mitchell to in­ves­ti­gate how he de­vel­oped the ill­ness and, as part of their work, they are seek­ing in­for­ma­tion on the work­ing con­di­tions he faced whilst he worked for Se­curi­cor be­tween 1970 and 1973.

Paul, who now lives in Maiden­head, told the le­gal ex­perts that he be­lieves he could have been ex­posed to as­bestos dur­ing this time work­ing at a range of dif­fer­ent sites for the se­cu­rity firm.

The se­cu­rity work in­cluded vis­it­ing sites such as Marshall’s con­crete fac­tory in West Dray­ton, and Of­fi­cer School in Chelsea, be­fore mov­ing to Slough where he was a su­per­vi­sor at Heathrow Air­port and a num­ber of other lo­ca­tions.

The RMT rail union re­cently called for Eal­ing Broad­way sta­tion to be closed af­ter roof tiles con­tain­ing as­bestos fell onto the plat­form.

Paul first started to feel un­well in Septem­ber 2014, but only sought med­i­cal ad­vice af­ter de­vel­op­ing a bad cough in Jan­uary 2015.

He was di­ag­nosed with mesothe­lioma sev­eral months later and con­tin­ues to suf­fer symp­toms in­clud­ing pain, fa­tigue, short­ness of breath and loss of ap­petite.

He is also cur­rently fit­ted with a chest drain to re­move fluid from his lungs.

Paul’s health has now de­te­ri­o­rated dra­mat­i­cally and he is strug­gling to breathe and can no longer get out of bed.

He has only been given an­other cou­ple of weeks to live and is re­ceiv­ing home hospice care.

Paul said: “It has been in­cred­i­bly hard to come to terms with ill­ness and all I want to know now is how it de­vel­oped and whether more should have been done to pro­tect me.

“The con­crete fac­tory West Dray­ton pro­duced ce­ment pipes and I re­call the fac­tory be­ing dirty and dusty.

“I vis­ited all dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the fac­tory, in­clud­ing the boiler room.

“Dur­ing my time at Heathrow Air­port gov­ern­ing the de­ten­tion of il­le­gal im­mi­grants, I also re­call vis­it­ing Hat­ton Cross dur­ing a lot of engi­neer­ing works too.

“I would be hugely grate­ful if any­one with in­for­ma­tion about work­ing for Se­curi­cor and the con­di­tions they faced would be able to get in touch.”

Joanne Jef­feries, a spe­cial­ist as­bestos lawyer at Ir­win Mitchell’s Lon­don of­fice, which is rep­re­sent­ing Paul, said: “It is a sad truth that many em­ploy­ers were aware of the dan­gers of as­bestos for many years be­fore work­ers in lots of in­stances were pro­vided with equip­ment to pro­tect them.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing Paul’s work his­tory to find out more about how he was ex­posed to this deadly ma­te­rial and would be keen to hear from any­one with knowl­edge of the con­di­tions he would have faced dur­ing his time with Se­curi­cor.”

Any­one with any rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion should con­tact Joanne Jef­feries at Ir­win Mitchell on 0207 421 3936 or email her at joanne.jef­feries@ ir­win­mitchell.com.

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