Keen Hiker Appeals For Help From Former Colleagues On Action Mesothelioma Day

Expert Asbestos-Related Disease Lawyers Investigating Exposure To Deadly Dust And Fibres


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

A former member Waltham Rubber & Plastics Limited (WRAP) worker is speaking out on Action Mesothelioma Day (July 1st), to appeal to his former colleagues for help after being recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos.


David Rutledge, 81, who live on the Essex/Suffolk border, was diagnosed in March this year and is currently attending West Suffolk Hospital for treatment.


He is appealing on the national awareness day for the terminal cancer for those who worked with him in the former WRAP factories (Wangye Works in Chadwell Heath, Selinas Lane, Dagenham and Hollands Road, Haverhill, to come forward and provide information to his legal team at Irwin Mitchell to help to get the answers he needs about his possible exposure to asbestos dust.


Action Mesothelioma Day aims to bring together those affected by mesothelioma, which causes the death of over 2,500 people in the UK every year, to discuss their experiences, as well as remembering those who have fallen victim to the disease.


David, a keen walker, now struggles to walk any great distance due to his symptoms. Having joined WRAP in the office in 1960, there is a possibility that he may have been exposed to the dust and or fibres during the course of his employment. 


Over the years, he encouraged the work force to teach him how to work and use the various machines. This stood him in good stead as he progressed in his career, becoming manager and eventually works and technical director, a position he held until leaving the company in 1990. He was also a panel member of the British Rubber Manufacturers Association Technical and Personnel Committee.


During the above period, he was involved with all the new developments, Plastic Injection Moulding, Printing of Labels with Screen Printing Presses, Laser Engraving of Printing Rollers and the development of Fibreglass Sleeves for Printing Rollers.


David told his legal team at Irwin Mitchell that as steam was used to generate heat in the various processes employed throughout the factories, the pipework was covered with asbestos lagging for thermal insulation. The lagging needed occasional repair which could have caused dust or fibres to be released, but that he was never told of the problems of  asbestos as the work was carried out by contractors.


Helen England, an expert asbestos related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who is representing David, said: “Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive, and sadly terminal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It is often associated with heavy industry and factory work.


“Hopefully, those who worked with David at WRAP will be able to come forward and help to get answers he deserves about his exposure to asbestos.”


David said: “I hope on Action Mesothelioma Day, some of my former colleagues will come forward and provide any information they can about the presence of asbestos at Waltham Rubber and Plastics Limited so that I can begin to get some answers about this terrible disease from which I am suffering.


“It has had a huge impact on my life as I can no longer enjoy walking my dog, walking in the Lake District or gardening. I am now heavily reliant on my wife and my son. This can be terribly frustrating as, up until January of this year, I was always fit and active.”


Anyone with information on the working conditions or presence of asbestos at Waltham Rubber & Plastics Ltd should contact Helen England on 0207 421 3896 or email

Our expert mesothelioma claims team will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.