Asbestos hasn’t been used in construction for years. At times, we come across it on site but in 2018, the story of someone dying from an asbestos related illness is very rare.

One woman from Plymouth though has got exactly that. She has recently been diagnosed with a terminal asbestos related disease caused by washing her husband’s work clothes.

Diagnosed with Mesothelioma in February 2017, the cause of Elizabeth Tookey’s illness goes all the way back to the 1960’s. Working as a carpenter from 1965 to 1967 it is believed that Mrs Tookey was exposed to deadly asbestos fibres when washing her husband’s clothes.

During his time as a carpenter, Herbert Tookey would come home from a job covered in dust. Covered in the stuff from head to toe, his doting wife would wash his clothes daily for him. It is there that she believes she was exposed to the toxic fibres.

Sadly, Mrs Tookey’s husband died in 1997 and now, she is urgently looking for any of his old work colleagues. Specifically, she’s looking to get into contact with anyone Mr Tookey worked with between 1965 and 1967 in a bid to be able to gain more information about the practices they faced on site.

She described to the Plymouth Herald: “The whole family are absolutely devastated at the shock of my diagnosis.”

“I had been feeling very breathless for a while and was admitted to hospital for a CT scan.”

“This showed there was fluid on my lungs which was removed and tested and revealed that I was in fact, suffering from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos.”

“During my husband’s employment with Dudley Coles, I remember him working on Council properties within Plymouth and coming home every day completely covered in dust.”

“I had to wash his work clothes constantly to get rid of all the dust.”

“Before my diagnosis I was very independent and enjoyed getting out and about in my car.”

“Unfortunately my illness now means that I have become very reliant on friends and family.”

This isn’t the first asbestos related illness to be reported recently either. In fact, it was found that twenty construction workers die every week due to Asbestos. Take a look at the full report here.

So what do you think of this? How much of an issue do you guys think asbestos is? Let us know in the comments below.


Read More: