A FORMER lab technician is searching for information in a battle for justice against his former employers after he was diagnosed with an asbestos-related lung disease almost a decade after retiring.
Geoffrey Maud, who lives in Stockton with his wife Margaret, developed pleural thickening as a result of his work with the deadly material in steel plants and chemical plants during his career, which spanned nearly half a century.
The 72-year-old grandfather of two is now working with industrial disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to gather evidence on the conditions at Dorman Long in Redcar; British Titan Products (latterly known as Tioxide Ltd) in Haverton Hill and Billingham-based Cleveland Chemicals Ltd, where he worked in chemist and technician roles.
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He believes he came into contact with the deadly dust whilst working at the plants as he used to wear asbestos-insulated gloves and use equipment such as asbestos string. He maintains he was also regularly surrounded by poorly maintained pipes covered in asbestos lagging.
Mr Maud said: “After I recovered from my stroke in 2005 I thought the worst of my health problems were behind me.
“When I was told that my condition was a result of asbestos exposure, I was shocked and frustrated that I couldn’t do anything about it.
“I just couldn’t believe that all my hard work throughout my career had basically been contributing to my illness, and that no-one warned me that it might have serious consequences on my health in the future.”
He first started to notice there was a problem when he felt breathless, one of the main symptoms of the lung condition, three years ago. He found it increasingly difficult to walk, and simple everyday tasks like getting dressed make him feel tired and breathless.
After initially being diagnosed with respiratory disease in 2009, his condition worsened. He started having regular check-ups at North Tees Hospital and in 2012, he was told he had pleural thickening caused by past asbestos exposure.
If you have any information on the companies mentioned contact Isobel Lovett on 0191-279-0104 or email Isobel.Lovett@IrwinMitchell.com