It’s a very sad fact that it’s not just the adult workers, who were directly exposed to asbestos dust who can become ill, every member of the family is at risk too.
Employees who worked with asbestos materials during the day brought the dust particles home on their work clothes and unwittingly exposed their partners and children to asbestos microbes. The children who ran to hug their fathers as they returned home in the evening probably covered themselves with the contaminated dust from the clothes and carried the dust on their own clothes too. Breathing in these deadly fibres is the cause of asbestos-related industrial diseases that attack lungs silently over a long time, only showing up as mesothelioma after 20-40 years after exposure.
It’s this scenario that has plagued the family of Sean Rickard, a man who has been fighting asbestos-related lung cancer caused by his father’s job as an asbestos sprayer. His father brought asbestos fibres home on his clothes, which inevitably affected the health of his children. Mr Rickard’s father worked as a pipe coverer at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in the fifties and sixties. When Mr Rickard was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in January he was informed that it was as a direct result of inhaling the fibres when he was a child.
It’s a shocking case of a family devastated by the deadly microbes. The whole family are terrified that eventually they will all contract the rare mesothelioma cancer. As children they used to play with their dad when he returned home from work, helping to shake out his working uniform that was covered in asbestos dust, and even combing the dust from his hair. They also used to play with the protective mask their father had been given to wear at work to protect himself. Unbelievably, and sadly, seven out of Mr Rickard’s nine siblings also suffer from lung disease and pleural plaques. Mr Rickard’s father died of asbestos related lung cancer in 1974, and his mother also died from lung cancer that they suspect was caused by asbestos exposure.
If you think that you may have been exposed to asbestos dust as a result of your parents’ job many years ago, call us on 0800 634 1626 for some friendly legal advice on how to set up a claim for compensation to help care for your family.