Multiple asbestos exposure led to death of St Albans woman

Hatfield Coroner's Court

Hatfield Coroner's Court - Credit: Archant

A woman in her eighties who died after being exposed to asbestos many times throughout her life did not die as a result of ‘work-related’ exposure, a coroner has ruled.

Joyce Hood, 80, of Mereden Court, St Albans, died “peacefully in her sleep” in September according to Herts chief coroner, Geoffrey Sullivan, from mesothelioma - a form of cancer linked to asbestos.

According to testimony from Joyce’s son, Robert Hood, she had spent time working in a power station in Wales which was known to have had a problem with asbestos.

Joyce had, however, declared to the DWP in 2008 that she had not been exposed to asbestos at work, following an appeal for compensation.

Robert’s testimony also made reference to “the ceiling of the airing cupboard” in the family home which was made of crumbling asbestos and may also have led to his mother’s deteriorating health.

In conclusion, Mr Sullivan said that Joyce’s case was unusual in that there were two clear pieces of evidence linking her to asbestos and yet clear testimony from her which stated that she had not been exposed to asbestos at work.

Mr Sullivan recorded that Joyce had died in Watford General Hospital as a result of non-work related asbestos exposure at the age of 80