Asbestos contributed to death

A 77-year-old retired scaffolder, whose colleagues threw asbestos “about like snowballs”, died from a combination of natural and industrial diseases, a coroners court heard.

A 77-year-old retired scaffolder, whose colleagues threw asbestos “about like snowballs”, died from a combination of natural and industrial diseases, a coroners court heard.

John Edmed, 77, of The Fitches, Knodishall, near Saxmundham, died in Ipswich Hospital on September 26 2005.

An inquest into his death held at endeavour house in Ipswich on Wednesday heard Mr Edmed was fit and active until his health began to deteriorate in June 2002.

In a statement his wife Primrose said her husband had worked with asbestos years before but without health and safety procedures in place.

She added: “They threw it about like snowballs.”

In written evidence Ipswich Hospital's consultant physician Dr Douglas Seaton said Mr Edmed suffered from high blood pressure and recurrent strokes as well as the effects of “undoubted exposure to respirable asbestos dust”.

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A post mortem examination concluded Mr Edmed died from a number of health problems including heart disease dementia and asbestosis.

Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said: “It is difficult to be certain how each disease combined to cause death.

“It would be wrong to come back with a verdict of just natural causes.”

Dr Dean recorded a narrative verdict that “Mr Edmed died from the combined effects of natural and industrial diseases.”

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