Asbestos fears for former sweet factory worker

Inhaled deadly asbestos fibres

01.11.2006

A woman from Yorkshire fears that volunteering to sweep factory floors for sweet giant Trebor Bassett may have caused her asbestos-related illness.

Former Trebor Bassett worker Ann Howe, 62, who worked for the firm in Sheffield for 30 years from 1967, fears that when she volunteered to sweep the factory to earn overtime pay, she may have inhaled deadly asbestos fibres which have made her seriously ill.

Mrs Howe worked in various capacities from a general factory worker to a machine operator to serving tea in the canteen.

Diffuse pleural thickening

To earn extra money she often volunteered, with other staff, to sweep and clean the factory, which makes fruit gums and Liquorice Allsorts, during shut-downs and at weekends.

However, when she became affected by breathlessness, a chest X-ray at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital, showed she was suffering from diffuse pleural thickening, a lung condition caused by asbestos fibres.

Asbestos related illness

The illness makes her tired and in discomfort and constantly out of breath. It has now got so bad that she has been forced her to move to a flatter area because she gets out of breath so quickly.

She said: "I was stunned when the chest consultant told me I had an asbestos-related illness and, when he explained the time it takes to become apparent, it fits with when I was working at the factory.

"There was always a lot of dust around when we cleaned the factory and some of it was in the air.

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