Asbestos death linked to clothes

A WITHYCOMBE pensioner 'probably' died from asbestos exposure after coming in contact with her husband's work clothes more than 20 years ago.

A WITHYCOMBE pensioner 'probably' died from asbestos exposure - after coming in contact with her husband's work clothes more than 20 years ago.An inquest at County Hall, Exeter heard coroner Darren Salter conclude that Elaine Smith-Boon, 70, of Halsdon Avenue died of industrial disease.The inquest heard that Mrs Boon, who died at home just after Christmas 2007, was a 'life long non-smoker' and she had not come into contact with absestos during her work - before she was married she worked at an accountants.In 2007 Mrs Smith-Boon, who with her husband had moved from Tyne and Wear in the 1960s, complained to her GP Dr Simon Webster of a 'shortness of breath' - and there were indications of asbestos exposure.But Mr Salter said that, while she hadn't worked in an environment that would have exposed her to asbestos fibres, her husband had.The inquest heard he had worked for the electricity board from the 1960s up until his retirement, inspecting sub-stations.However, his job as a manager, said Mr Salter, wasn't 'hands on'; so the exposure would have been limited.Her husband admitted when he started there was no requirement to wear any protective gear but that policy changed over time.Mr Salter said: "There had been no other obvious exposure. That is the only evidence. On balance, her death was most probably caused by domestic contact with contaminated clothes."However, the evidence is so vague and exposure must have happened over 20 years ago - it could have happened in 60s, 70s or 80s.""In my experience this is an extremely rare case."Mrs Boon's family expressed concern about further exposure and Mr Salter added: "It is something I would not be unduly concerned about."He determined Mrs Smith-Boon died of industrial disease based on the limited evidence.He added: "I extend my sympathies to the family.


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