Asbestos exposure kills St Albans man 50 years later

PUBLISHED: 16:01 21 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

AN INQUEST has ruled that a 65-year-old man s death was caused by industrial disease after he was exposed to asbestos dust in his first job as a teenager. Charles Harbert, of Park Street Lane, died at his home last December having shown symptoms of asbes

AN INQUEST has ruled that a 65-year-old man's death was caused by industrial disease after he was exposed to asbestos dust in his first job as a teenager.

Charles Harbert, of Park Street Lane, died at his home last December having shown symptoms of asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, about 21 months earlier.

Mr Harbert, described as a popular and well-loved man with a love of cars, started a building apprenticeship in 1954 in which he handled asbestos on an almost daily basis.

He went on to become an experienced builder, carpenter and joiner.

Herts Coroner Edward Thomas told his family that it wasn't unusual for more than 50 years to pass after asbestos exposure before the related cancer develops.

In evidence, a doctor said that it was possible, but very rare, for that type of cancer to develop in those that had not come into contact with asbestos dust. But he was confident that the inhalation of asbestos dust was to blame for Mr Harbert's death.

Concluding the inquest, Mr Thomas said: "I'm satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that he died from industrial disease.

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