Call for more asbestos awareness from son

Raymond Rowse
Raymond Rowse

A BUILDER is calling for more awareness into the dangers of asbestos to be made available after his father died from inhaling the dangerous material.

Raymond Rowse, of St Thomas’s Road, said many DIY enthusiasts at home could be potentially exposing themselves to asbestos without realising it.

He said: “There are still many houses that contain asbestos, as well as outside sheds and garages, which have the material in the roof. Many people may not be aware it’s there.”

The move comes after an inquest into the death of Mr Rowse’s father, also called Raymond, took place last Wednesday (December 21).

Dr Ian Hawley, the pathologist who carried out the postmortem, said the builder died from malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs.

It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. His son said his late father first fell ill in August 2009 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2010.

He said: “Dad always constantly suffered from sore throats throughout his life, ever since he was a young man.

“The dangers of asbestos definitely need to be highlighted much more.”

The inquest heard that Mr Rowse, who died on September 20, aged 62, worked for Eldridge and Cruttenden building firm, which was based in Silverhill, from 1964 to 1970.

He was an apprentice bricklayer and helped refurbish a lot of old houses.

This involved knocking down parts of walls which contained asbestos.

Mr Rowse made a statement to solicitors before he died, detailing his work history, and this was read out at Wednesday’s inquest.

In his first job he often worked in a dusty environment and wore no protective clothing nor mask.

Mr Rowse, of Pinewood Way, St Leonards, later became self-employed in the 1970s and worked for many companies.

He helped in the building of Hastings Magistrates’ Court.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a verdict of death by industrial disease.