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Grim legacy of asbestos takes deadly toll on family

Sisters Maureen McGeoch (left) and Rosalind Darley, who are two of eight siblings whose dad worked with asbestos, and all got pleural plaques

Sisters Maureen McGeoch (left) and Rosalind Darley, who are two of eight siblings whose dad worked with asbestos, and all got pleural plaques

A FAMILY plagued by an incurable asbestos-related lung condition have lost two members.

The Courier reported in 2010 how eight of the 10 siblings who grew up in Hebden Bridge had developed pleural plaques – scarring on the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos.

The condition had left them with varying degrees of shortness of breath and the increased likelihood of developing a serious illness, such as cancer.

An inquest heard that one of the five sisters, Marjorie King, died from malignant mesothelioma – a rare cancer caused by exposure to the poisonous material.

She had never worked with asbestos herself, but her father Korah Leah was a foreman at Cape Asbestos, Acre Mill, Hebden Bridge.

The inquest heard that she was exposed through the dust he brought home on his overalls.

Mrs King, of Elphin Court, Mytholmroyd, died aged 67, at Overgate Hospice in Elland on July 30 last year.

A tumour was found on her right lung and asbestos bodies were discovered in lung tissue.

Deputy Coroner Professor Paul Marks recorded that she died from industrial disease.

Mrs King was one of five girls and five boys.

Their father regularly had to unblock extractor fans clogged with the deadly dust. He died of lung cancer at 68.

The two siblings who have not developed a lung condition were born after he left the firm.

Maureen McGeogh, of Bluebell Walk, Luddenden, who was diagnosed in 2005, said they have also lost another sister – Cecelia.

“She died six months after Marjorie,” she said.

“It was a real blow for us, going from five sisters to three.”

She said she remembers their mother shaking their father’s overalls and the dust going everywhere.

The children sometimes went to work with their father on a Sunday and would play in the piles of dust, not realising how dangerous it was.

The remaining siblings are waiting to hear if they have a case to be granted compensation although money is usually only given to people suffering from pleural plaques if they worked with asbestos.

 

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