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Asbestos in the Lunchtime Sandwiches

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 in Articles

Cancer victim, 66, is dying from the asbestos in the lunchtime sandwiches he ate while working as an engineer.

A 66-year-old former engineer is dying of cancer after accidentally eating asbestos fibres in his lunchtime sandwiches, it has been claimed.

Retired grandfather-of-five Trevor Jones from Brechin in Angus, Scotland, was diagnosed with mesothelioma last December and doctors told him he developed it after ingesting asbestos dust.

Mr Jones had worked in communications alongside cable layers who drilled through walls lined with asbestos – although he says he was never told he was working in an area with the deadly fibres.

He now suffers from peritoneal mesothelioma which affects the lining of the stomach and is caused by accidentally ingesting the asbestos dust.

The father-of-three said he was ‘stunned’ when doctors told him he had mesothelioma following a routine bowel screening test.

Mr Jones said: ‘I would sit in my work clothes eating sandwiches at my desk or in the canteen. If any asbestos fell on your clothes, you brushed it off casually with your hands not knowing the danger.

‘We were never warned that we worked in an area with asbestos. I certainly never thought this cancerous substance could be swallowed and cause cancer.

‘I have it and I know it will kill me. It will be painful but I hope drugs will control that.’

Mr Jones was diagnosed with mesothelioma just a month after he was made redundant from his job.

After working for more than 50 years he said he had been looking forward to the next chapter in his life.

‘I could have as little as three years to live,’ said Mr Jones. ‘My mum and daughters are devastated but I have to make the most of what time I have left.

‘I’ve saved hard over the years and plan to tour a bit of the country while I am still able.’

His solicitor, Stephen Irvine, from Morisons Solicitors, said: ‘Although less common than mesothelioma in the lung, peritoneal mesothelioma is no less devastating for sufferers and their families.

‘We have dealt with a number of these cases and the possibility of fibres getting into lunch boxes is one aspect we are looking at.

‘In Trevor’s case, we are doing everything we can to help him and his family.’

Mr Jones is one of dozens of peritoneal mesothelioma patients supported by Asbestos Action (Tayside).

Dianne Foster, a support office with AAT, said: ‘We strongly urge anyone working with asbestos to change out of working clothes and wash before handling food. Eating well away from work areas is also strongly advised.’

Some patients with peritoneal mesothelioma are sent to UK national referral centres in Manchester or Basingstoke hospitals for surgery.

Pioneering treatment includes removing the cancerous areas and rinsing the open abdomen with heated chemotherapy drugs.

Surgeon Francesco Polignano, from Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, said: ‘Patients can contract it through eating asbestos in their food.’