Workers At Former Social Services Centre May Hold Key To Mum’s Asbestos Exposure
A former child protection worker from Hertfordshire diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer is appealing to former work colleagues and the local community to come forward and help in her search for answers in how she may have developed the illness.
Ann Scott, 79, from Stevenage, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer associated with asbestos exposure on 11 December 2018, after experiencing breathing problems in the summer.
By the end of 2018, Ann had a drain inserted in her lung and a procedure to adhere the lung to her chest wall to prevent fluid build-up (Pleurodesis) proved unsuccessful due to a trapped lung.
After receiving the news, Ann instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her illness and to see if there were any clues linked to her work history.
Now, just over a year on from her diagnosis, Ann has joined her legal team in appealing for help to discover if her contact with asbestos may have taken place during her employment with Hertfordshire County Council at the Stevenage Social Services Centre, Southgate, SG1 1HG between 1975 and 1995. Ann is now appealing for anyone with information on asbestos in the building to come forward.
Emma Guy, an asbestos-related disease specialist chartered legal executive at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Ann is understandably devastated by her mesothelioma diagnosis. Over a year on, she is desperate for answers on how she could ever have been exposed to asbestos in an office environment.
Sadly, we know from our work that such exposure is all too common however; we need more details about Ann’s working conditions. If anyone remembers working with Ann or even just in the same building, and recall’s asbestos in the room or buildings, it would be a huge help if they could come forward to help with our ongoing enquiries.”
A mother of two daughters, Ann, still lives in Stevenage and spent 20 years of her working career in the Social Services Centre, working as a Secretary on Child Protection. Ann never imagined the building might contain asbestos, but as an old police station built in the 1950’s, she knows it is possible.
Ann Scott said: “After I left in 1995, I know notices were given to people saying asbestos was in the building and they should not use drawing pins in the walls or put decorations up in the ceiling area. The building is boarded up now so I’m really hoping this will jog the memory of someone who worked there, as they may know more than I do about any asbestos present.
“As the old police station, there were four floors, including the basement where the cells were. Working in child protection, we stored emergency supplies such as cots and other equipment down there and looking back now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it contained asbestos.
It was just such a shock how quickly I went from breathing issues in the summer to being diagnosed with mesothelioma in December of the same year. To think that I and my colleagues might have been exposed to asbestos at work is frightening. I just feel I deserve answers on how I could have been exposed and it would mean a lot to me and the family if anyone with more information would come forward.”
Anyone with information is requested to contact either Emma Guy of Irwin Mitchell on 0207 4213913 or by email at Emma.Guy@IrwinMitchell.com or Taler Kelly, on 0203 040 3432 or by email at Taler.Kelly@IrwinMitchell.com
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