A scrap metal dealer who stripped boilers for his livelihood died after developing a fatal asbestos-related illness, a recent inquest heard.
The birth place of Ernest Vig is Hungary, but he came to England when he was just 23 years old. Vig is 80 years old now.
Vig was self-employed and spent majority of his career as a scrap metal merchant. He had to cut up copper boilers which are lagged with hazardous asbestos.
Mr. Vig, a High St. (Scapegoat Hill) resident, suffered from a heart attack in year 2008. For the rest of his life, he had to use wheelchair. Then he was diagnosed with mesothelioma (in year 2012), following suffering from lung problems. His condition worsened shortly and he passed away on 31st May, 2013.
Post mortem reports indicate that the cause of his death was malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by the inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers.
Roger Whittaker, the Coroner, recorded an industrial illness death verdict.
Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly tumor of the mesothelial cells that generally takes place in pleura (80 to 90 percent of all mesothelioma cases). The tumor may also affect other areas such as peritoneum, testes and pericardium. Mesothelioma is developed as a result of the patients’ past exposure to or inhalation of asbestos fibers. The possibility to develop this cancer increases proportionally with the amount of asbestos fibers inhaled by a person. Mesothelioma victims may be eligible for compensation because most of the asbestos exposure was caused by the negligence of employers.
Mesothelioma generally affects men. In men, it is 3 times more common than in women. Generally this cancer is found in people aged between 40 and 70. In the UK, the rate of occurrence of pleural mesothelioma is 1.25 for each 100,000.
Asbestos exposure is the one and only cause for mesothelioma, with occupational exposure to the substance being the reason for 70 to 80 percent of all cases. Secondary exposure to asbestos – that is, the exposure takes place through the work clothes of a person who deals with or works close to asbestos – also can cause mesothelioma, although it is not so often. Generally the disease appear after 30 to 40 years after the first exposure to asbestos fibers. Due to this high latency period, diagnosis of mesothelioma is very difficult, especially if the patient does not mention his history of asbestos exposure.