A FORMER builder was exposed to deadly asbestos while working on major building projects at RAF Stafford, the BBC and Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall, an inquest heard.
Melvyn Gardner, 70, of Sunningdale Drive, had worked in construction for most of his life and had already been diagnosed with pleural plaques due to asbestos exposure.
A claim for asbestosis disease was in the process of going through at the time of his death at Stafford Hospital on July 22.
But at an inquest in Cannock last week Staffordshire South assistant coroner Margaret Jones recorded a narrative verdict.
She said Mr Gardner, who had also been a smoker and suffered with emphysema, died from a combination of natural causes and industrial disease.
The hearing was told Mr Gardner began his career with Staffordshire County Council, working on various projects, including mobile classrooms and boiler houses where there was little ventilation and thick asbestos dust.
For three years he worked at BBC’S Pebble Mill studios where there was a significant amount of asbestos used and he helped to build storage and support buildings at RAF Stafford, which used steel and asbestos in the roof.
He also worked on Wolverhampton Civic Hall, where asbestos was used in the ceiling, on a block at Birmingham University, where blue asbestos was on the site and in 1998 he worked on the major revamp of Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre, where asbestos was removed from the ceiling.
In August last year Mr Gardner started to suffer severe chest pains and a biopsy confirmed lung cancer.
He then suffered a heart attack in March and his health deteriorated.
In a report to the inquest consultant histopathologist Dr Paul Hiley said the combination of smoking with asbestosis caused a substantial increase in health risk.
The cause of death was given as a carcinoma on the lung with emphysema and asbestosis contributing.