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Mesothelioma News

Former Railway Worker Dies from Malignant Mesothelioma

A Chandler’s Ford man who passed away after developing a deadly cancer known malignant mesothelioma following his long career dealing with asbestos, an inquest heard.

Ronald Lee died recently from mesothelioma when he was 88 years old. He had worked for nearly 47 years on the railways.

Lee started his career as an electrician when he was just 14 years old. As part of that job, he had to remove insulation containing asbestos. Later he became a foreman.

A testimony letter presented by David Wyatt – the son-in-law of Mr. Lee – to the inquest confirmed that Lee had a long history of dealing with and working close to asbestos as well as asbestos-containing products.

Mr. Lee, a Common Rd (Chandler’s Ford) resident, passed away at a Winchester hospital (Royal Hampshire County Hospital) on 17th July.

Sarah Whitby, the assistant deputy coroner, recorded a death verdict due to an industrial disease.

Mesothelioma (or malignant mesothelioma) is a cancer which begins in cells lining certain body parts, particularly the victim’s chest or abdomen. In majority of cases, mesothelioma begins in cells which line the cavity of chest. The cancer may also begin in cells lining the abdominal cavity. At times, the disease may also begin in cells lining outside the heart. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, but it is deadly as well. Nearly 200 new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed every year in the state of New York.

Asbestos-related deaths are not uncommon among railway workers all over the world. Many railroad workers in the United States also have died from different asbestos-related diseases such as malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural plaques and lung cancer.

The railroad has definitely been a major advance which helped the nation expand across the whole continent. Before a few decades, most of the trains were powered through steam engine that created a huge amount of energy and heat as a byproduct. The industry had to insulate and protect the engines and trains from this. For this purpose, they used a naturally occurring mineral called asbestos because it was very strong and an excellent fire-retardant. However, steam engines were later replaced gradually by diesel engines. But asbestos was used even in those engines until the 1970s. The use of asbestos became restricted when the hazards associated with the material became widely known. Therefore, former railroad workers are at the risk of developing fatal asbestos-related diseases including cancer.