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Asbestos linked to death of three men

PUBLISHED: 05:26 14 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

ASBESTOS was suspected to be the silent killer of three Suffolk men whose inquests have been held in Ipswich.

Cutting up sheets of asbestos with a circular saw, led to the death of retired carpenter, Sidney Macey, who died on October 29 last year at St Elizabeth's Hospice.

ASBESTOS was suspected to be the silent killer of three Suffolk men whose inquests have been held in Ipswich.

Cutting up sheets of asbestos with a circular saw, led to the death of retired carpenter, Sidney Macey, who died on October 29 last year at St Elizabeth's Hospice.

The family of Mr Macey, 80, from Bloomfield Street, Ipswich, told the coroner's office that his history in the building trade stretched back to the 1950s.

The court heard he had worked for William Brown in St Peter's Street, Ipswich, cutting up asbestos sheets for use in the construction of farm buildings.

Mr Macey's eldest son who was not named in court, said in a statement: "He said he tried to hold his breath but couldn't. They had no protective clothing or breathing gear in the 1970s."

Mr Macey senior also came into contact with asbestos when he later worked for Gabriel Wade and English.

Dr Julian Orrell, consultant pathologist at Ipswich Hospital said death was caused by bronchial pneumonia, as a result of a tumour caused by inhaling asbestos fibres in his right lung.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean recorded a verdict of death by industrial disease.

Asbestos was also initially suspected to have been a factor in the deaths of Belfast-born Robert Wallace and Ernest Cole. But verdicts of death from natural causes were recorded for both inquests.

Dr Dean heard how Mr Wallace, 76, of Cornflower Close, Ipswich had been admitted to Ipswich Hospital with bronchial pneumonia on January 4, but died on January 11.

His family said he had been in contact with asbestos in the past but had not suffered any shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.

Consultant pathologist Dr Richard Rowe found no evidence of significant exposure to asbestos.

London-born Mr Cole, 81, of Lynwood Avenue, Felixstowe, who died on January 15 had worked as an electrical engineer and had worked in buildings where asbestos was being cut.

He was also a keen bird keeper, and suffered from bird fanciers' lung – a lung disease which develops after breathing in dust from the bird food and droppings.

Dr Rowe said he had died from cardio respiratory failure, and there was no sign asbestos had affected his lungs.

The Evening Star campaigned in 1998 for the rights of victims affected by the silent disaster, asbestos.

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