Fatal disease due to asbestos exposure

PUBLISHED: 11:27 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 12:43 04 May 2010

A SOHAM man died from lung disease caused by being regularly exposed to asbestos while serving in the Navy 50 years ago. Francis Palmer, who earned a Royal ­Victorian Medal and two campaign medals, died at his home on Brook Street, Soham on March 31, at t

A SOHAM man died from lung disease caused by being regularly exposed to asbestos while serving in the Navy 50 years ago.

Francis Palmer, who earned a Royal ­Victorian Medal and two campaign medals, died at his home on Brook Street, Soham on March 31, at the age of 72.

At his inquest on Friday, coroner William Morris recorded a verdict of death through industrial disease.

Mr Morris said the death was caused by mesothelioma - a form of lung cancer which is commonly associated with exposure to asbestos - and bronchopneumonia - a form of pneumonia which involves bacteria invading the lungs.

Mr Palmer served in the Navy between 1952 and 1959 as an engineer. He worked in boiler engine rooms on various ships and during this time he became regularly exposed to asbestos.

Pathologist Martin Goddard carried out the post mortem examination. He said: "Mr Palmer was regularly exposed to blue asbestos which is the most dangerous type.

He added: "His exposure to asbestos was a long time ago, but it is commonly a 30 or 40 year timeline before asbestos exposure can cause disease.

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