Family appeals for help after brother dies from asbestos-related mesothelioma

Posted: 13th Apr 16 12:41 PM

The brothers of a man killed by exposure to asbestos dust while working for a Bristol builder’s merchant and wholesale ironmonger are appealing for help from the company’s former employees.

The family would like to hear from anyone who worked for The Metal Agencies Company Limited (MAC Ltd), Avon Works, in Winterstoke Road, between 1955 and 2000, and has information about the presence of asbestos within the premises and products.

The family, who do not wish to be named, watched their 75-year-old brother suffer and die from the asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma. The aggressive and terminal cancer causes server pain, breathlessness and fluid on the lung. It can take between 10 to 50 years to develop after exposure to just a small amount of asbestos dust.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, more than 2,500 people a year die from mesothelioma and more than 300 have died from the cancer in Bristol between 1981 and 2011.

The Department of Work and Pensions says that 53,000 people in the UK will eventually die from mesothelioma between 2013 and 2037.

The National Asbestos Helpline and Birchall Blackburn Law are working with the family to trace former employees of MAC Ltd who might know where and when their brother was exposed to asbestos.

Craig Howell, an experienced industrial disease specialist and partner with Birchall Blackburn Law, says: “The use of asbestos within construction materials and industrial premises was widespread from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Asbestos wasn’t actually banned in the UK until the late 1990s. So, it is safe to say that anyone who worked in a builder’s merchant and wholesale ironmonger during that time is likely to have come into contact with asbestos.

“We also know that the brother’s job involved the maintenance and cleaning of a large boiler within the MAC Ltd premises in Winterstoke Road. Due to the fireproof properties of asbestos the boiler was lagged with the deadly material.”

Colin Tunstall, from the National Asbestos Helpline, says: “Mesothelioma takes decades to develop, which often denies hardworking people the justice they deserve. It is a cruel and incurable cancer that robs families of their loved ones. To help get justice, we need to hear from anyone who worked for The Metal Agencies Company Limited. They could have vital information about the presence and exposure to the deadly dust and fibres.”

The Metal Agencies Company Limited became known as United Builders Merchants and sold a huge range of construction products including fireplaces, scaffolding, stoves, tiles, tools, paints and gardening and kitchen equipment.

Anyone who knows about the use and presence of asbestos at MAC Ltd in Winterstoke Road, Bristol, please telephone Craig Howell of Birchall Blackburn Law on 01244 684 475 or Colin Tunstall at the National Asbestos Helpline on freephone 0800 043 6635.