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British Lung Foundation
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What do you know about Mesothelioma?

Good Morning Everybody

We are looking at opening up the web community by discussing and raising awareness of different lung conditions.

So .... we would like to like to know if forum members have heard of the condition Mesothelioma?

I know in the past there has been posts from a forum member affected by this condition.

Please chip into this post if you can.



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15 Replies

My understanding is that it is a form of lung cancer triggered by exposure to asbestos. It is not that rare where people worked with asbestos in the past as a lagging material for example. My father worked in Southampton Docks where asbestos was imported in hessian sacks; his job involved going in to the holds of the ships and counting the sacks. He developed pleural ploaques as a result, but some of his workmates had mesothelioma - I believe Southampton is soemthing of a 'hot spot' for it. My Dad died of COPD due to smoking, so I guess it is another of those lung conditions which you may develop if pre-disposed to it and are exposed to the trigger.


This illness is caused through asbestos and is common amongst construction workers who used it in the days before the dangers were known. There are two types of asbestos blue and white and one is more dangerous than the other. My husband died from esophagus cancer there has been research to see if this is also a side effect of asbestos - my husband was a carpenter/joiner by trade - but I know of two of his colleagues who died from Mesothelioma

The mother of a friend of ours died from Mesothelioma but no cause could be found. It was confirmed by a Laboratory in Wales. Although it is usually due to contact with asbestos I believe it can occur "ideopathically" sometimes.

What a great idea Jo, why don't we have a weekly or monthly 'health topic' lesson thingy about a different lung condition. That way we could all learn a little more about what our friends are suffereing with and hopefully be more understanding how each disease differs etc.

I only knew (thought) it was some form of cancer, nothing else. I did not know it was caused by asbestos.

Agree with all of the above, live daily with the concerns that one of his exacerbations may be the onset of this terrible disease.

Thought it was a holiday resort in Turkey. (Sorry!)

There was a factory near here called Fibrecrete which made the asbestos sheets that you see on roofs etc. The waste was used to build up a site where they built what was a motorcycle garage and then a car sales and now they are planning to build a nursing home on it. I am presuming the right survey has been done ( I can remember seeing it being spread there when I went past on the bus to school). A friend I re-met at PR who I knew at primary school, sixty years ago, worked there and her husband. they are not sure if she has COPD or mesothelioma.


My Father died (at 64) from it as have all of his fellow work mates as a result of exposure, the Coroners official verdict naming it as Diffuse Mesothelioma.

Dad started work at 14 years old as an Apprentice Pipe fitter, one of the jobs of the Lads as there were called then was to mix dry Asbestos Fibre (aka Monkey Muck) with a sort of Plaster of Paris substance and then cover pipes and the outside of boilers with it to insulate them.

I started my working life at 15 years old working for the same company stripping down Steam Plant (boilers and other related/attached equipment) yearly for Inspection my the Insurance Company Boiler Inspector. (then a legal requirement)

And also repairing them.

I cleaned the gaskets from the joints these were made from Asbestos, we made new gaskets from Asbestos rope/sheet.

Imagine Fred Dibnah standing in front of his traction engine with the door open showing the boiler tubes, when we reassembled some of the larger stuff at British Steel works here in Sheffield I stood inside to make sure the gasket did not snag while a crane refitted the front of the boiler then used a ladder to climb on top of the tubes then walk/crawl to the inspection hatch at the rear and climb out of the boiler!

When I started Asbestos used for insulation had been removed when the health problems it caused, the gaskets could not be.

At Technical College we spent an afternoon being warned about Asbestos, how to recognise it and avoid it.

I spoke up telling the Tutor that I worked with it regularly and was told to 'SHUT UP'

When I first started working the older fitters showed me Brown Asbestos and they knew that it was a killer.

I have watched the tv documentaries that have covered Asbestos from mining the raw material to TBA who made various products from it but I have yet to hear anyone mention Blue Asbestos.

I had CT scan and a shed load of X-rays last year and the Consultant says there are no signs of anything nasty.

But I read earlier today a post by someone that was diagnosed with COPD and has now discovered that they do not have it but are having trouble breathing, you are not on your own.

IMPORTANT.... my mother received a settlement/compensation for my dads death.

The Labour Government put a cap of three years for industrial exposure claims.

Not very good news if it takes 20-30 years for something to appear!

Payment for Mesothelioma is now £10.000, £5.000 if Plural Plaques are found then a further £5.000 should something further appear.

Hope this is useful Jo, I am pretty certain about the payments but it might be worth checking what other restrictions the powers that be have imposed on us.

I could go say much, much more..................................................................


Mesothelia is one of 14 illnesses that are caused as direct result of exposure to Asbestos.

Mesothelioma has been a big problem for people who used to live in the Armley area of Leeds where a factory J.W. Roberts was believed to be 1 of only 2 factories in the world to produce blue asbestos. The asbestos not only effected the workers, but their families too as the workers and their clothes were covered in it. It also effected the general community. I knew a lady who died from mesothelioma and she used to play, along with many other kids in the heap of powder outside the factory. I have a friend who lives in Armley today and all the houses within an aea close to where the factory was have all had the asbestos removed - they had to move out temporarily and this years after the factory closed down.

There is an interesting link, but if it's a bit lengthy I have just taken a snippet from it below.


'Midland Works emitted vast quantities of asbestos dust, primarily through its ventilation system, which covered the nearby streets and rooftops of surrounding houses. One resident told of how his wife "used to wipe the greyish white dust off the window sills of their home at 9.30 am, and that an hour later, if the machines at Roberts were blowing out dust, there would be another layer of dust half an inch thick.

It was not uncommon until the factory's closure for children to be seen playing in the dust in the streets and the local school's playground, making 'snowballs' which were thrown in ignorance of the danger they posed. Others used the thick layer of dust in the playground to mark out hopscotch squares.'


Back in the late 50's when Dad worked in Southampton docks, in the holds of the ships as they unloaded the sacks of asbestos they came across messages chalked on the hold walls by the south African workers, telling them that asbestos was a killer......long before there was anything said about it in the UK. There were no protective masks etc. and men brought it home on their clothes. I was talking to a woman recently who's husband died of mesothelioma and now her daughter has it too.


That's really interesting Gidge about the African workers chalking their messages. XXX

Hi Everybody

It seems it would be a good idea for us to discuss other conditions as Tanyamarie suggests.

All of the posts are really interesting - thanks to everyone who has contributed.

Keep on posting!



Hi Mesothelioma. Clydebank which is west of Glasgow has an active and successful asbestosis group which has been successful in proving the link between lung cancer and asbestos and assists many people. Clydebank had a large asbestos factory servicing the ship building and other industries. This group has helped the growing number of people being diagnosed. It may well be that they can assist or advise others.....macfionn

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