Factory worker dies from exposure to asbestos in car parts


A mother of three who lived in Linton near Swadlincote has died aged 55 from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of lungs and is associated almost exclusively with exposure to asbestos.

At the inquest into her death held on 10th February 2008, Deputy Coroner Louise Pinder heard that the lady was exposed to asbestos whilst working at an automotive firm in Birmingham.

She worked at the factory cleaning used car parts which were removed from scrap cars between 1989 and 2000. Evidence provided by Colin Plumb, Consultant engineer at Morgan Finch & Partners in Stoke on Trent stated “there could be no doubt that some of the starter motors and alternators upon which the Claimant worked incorporated asbestos containing materials. Starter motors contain resin-bonded chrysalite (white asbestos). It is a matter for medical opinion whether white asbestos would cause mesothelioma”.

Mr Plumb concluded that following an investigation into the lady's employment history he considered that it was unlikely she had come into contact with asbestos during any other employment or during her life other than when she was working for the factory. Having considered the evidence Deputy Coroner recorded a verdict of death due to industrial disease.

Although, asbestos products are no longer used in the motor industry, those who previously worked in the motor industry and were exposed to asbestos products, could be at risk of contracting an asbestos related disease. Asbestos was previously used in many types of car parts including alternators, starter motors and brake pads.

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