THE family of a former labourer is calling on his former colleagues for help with an investigation into how he was exposed to lethal asbestos.

Fred Bailey, from Darlington, died in May after a short battle with mesothelioma, which is caused by inhaling asbestos dust and fibres.

The 67-year-old told lawyers he believed he was exposed to asbestos while working for a number of companies in London, including Limehouse Paper Board Mill, where he worked from 1963 to 1965.

He remembered the building containing asbestos-lagged pipework and the boiler room being an extremely dusty environment.

He also thought he was exposed to asbestos while working for building company A. Elf & Sons in Dalston, North London, between 1966 and 1970.

His role included painting pub basements, which meant he was regularly working in close proximity to asbestos dust and fibres as he prepared the walls.

Mr Bailey also believed he came into contact with asbestos dust and fibres while employed by John Tanns Limited between 1978 and 1988, at the company’s factory in Boreham Wood.

He said the pipework in the factory was lagged with asbestos in a poor state of repair, which would release dust and fibres when disturbed.

Mr Bailey's family and asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell are appealing to his former colleagues to come forward with the information they need about the presence of asbestos at the companies.

Roger Maddocks, a partner and expert industrial disease lawyer at the firm, said: “Mesothelioma is a very aggressive and sadly incurable disease that can cause a significant amount of pain and suffering for victims like Fred.

"However, it takes decades from exposure before the symptoms develop so it can be difficult for victims to recall the minute details of their working conditions.

“Many older factories and warehouses contained asbestos-lagged pipework which was not kept in good-working order and would release dust and fibres when disturbed.

"Unfortunately, many companies failed to protect workers from the risks of asbestos exposure and as a result people like Fred end up paying the ultimate price."

A statement from the family said: “It was absolutely heart-breaking when Fred was diagnosed with mesothelioma and he was forced to give up working.

"The pain he suffered in the final months of his life was terrible and we are determined to get justice in his name.

“His retirement was taken away from him by mesothelioma and to find out that the disease may have been caused by his exposure to asbestos at work just added insult to injury for all of us.

“We would be extremely grateful to any of his former colleagues who can provide the information our legal team needs."

Anyone with information on the presence of asbestos, or preventative measures that were in place, at Limehouse Paper Board Mill, A. Elf & Sons or John Tanns Limited, is asked to call Emma Crowther on 01642-246915 or email