Asbestos exposure

Woman dies from asbestos-related disease following husband’s exposure

A 66-year-old woman who used to wash her husband’s asbestos-covered overalls has died from peritoneal mesothelioma, an inquest has heard.

Margaret Maggs was first diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease in 2007, Her husband, Colin, worked as an engineer in the trawler industry, often in environments where asbestos was present. In a statement written by Mrs Maggs in 2008, she noted that her husband’s overall would be covered with dust.

“From 1967 to 1970, I was still living at home but seeing Colin nearly every day,” she said. “He would come for lunch at my parents’ home and he was still in his overalls. He would keep them on, during which time we would spend about an hour together. He did not have a washing machine in his bungalow so I took his overalls and some other clothes back to my parents’ home to wash them.”

Mr Maggs’ work clothes were only washed around once every two weeks, meaning they were “filthy” with asbestos dust. Mrs Maggs was further exposed to the deadly dust during car rides with her husband where, again, he would keep his work clothes on.

Although Mrs Maggs received secondary asbestos exposure, the coroner ruled that she died due to an industrial disease.