A former plant worker claims that she developed a deadly cancer because of the dangerous conditions she had regularly worked in.
Sandra A Peterson, of South Shields, developed mesothelioma, an asbestos-linked cancer, as a result of her occupational exposure to the dangerous mineral. Peterson was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 April. She is 57 years old.
Peterson believes she had been exposed to hazardous dust while working at Plessy’s and Filtrona UK between 1970 and 1980. Peterson is now requesting her ex-colleagues to come ahead and help her find out how she got in touch with asbestos – a known carcinogen.
“It is heartbreaking to find that my disease could’ve been caused by the work at those factories when I was only a teenager,” Peterson said. “Then I was absolutely unaware of the hazards associated with asbestos exposure,” she said. Peterson, who has 3 grandchildren, is consulting with expert lawyers for investigating how she could have developed a disease that is developed only because of asbestos exposure.
Peterson worked with South Shields-based Filtrona UK between 1973 and 1975. Her job there was to make paper filters for cigarettes. Peterson believes the coating (slurry) used during the manufacturing process might contain dangerous asbestos fibers.
“That job was very dirty. My face, hands and overalls got covered regularly in black dust. The dust even got up in my hairs and my nose,” Peterson said. “I believe that dust contained the toxic asbestos fibers that sickened me,” she said.
Peterson thinks asbestos was widely used for insulating electrical elements at the Plessy’s, which is located at Eldon St, South Shields. She worked there from 1975 until 1976.
Before developing the disease, Peterson was a very lively person who used to enjoy Zumba Classes, swimming, bike riding and walking. But now she is struggling to walk. Now she is unable to do her usual jobs in her home without the help of her husband.
Roger Maddocks, an attorney helping Peterson in the case, said: “Asbestos is undoubtedly the largest occupational killer ever. Asbestos-linked diseases can take several decades for the victims like Mrs. Peterson to develop incapacitating conditions that really affect their life quality.”
“Mrs. Peterson and her whole family haven’t still come to terms with such tragic news that she is not going to recover from her terrible condition, caused by merely working at some factories almost 40 years ago,” Maddocks said.