How washday cut short the life of a Halifax mother

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A MOTHER-of-four died after contracting asbestos, despite never having worked with the deadly substance.

Joan Hayburn, 68, of Mount Pleasant Avenue, Pellon, Halifax, died at Overgate Hospice, Elland, on July 1.

She was found to have a malignant tumour in her left lung.

A Halifax inquest heard Mrs Hayburn went to her GP in October 2009 after failing to get over a niggly cough.

He prescribed her cough medicine which failed to help and she returned to her GP who then sent her for a chest X-ray.

Mrs Hayburn had started suffering from a shortness of breath and neighbours had to help her out.

She had been enjoying an independent life but her illness had started to affect her every day, including stopping her going to adult education classes, which she enjoyed.

Mrs Hayburn, who was born in Liverpool, moved to Halifax when she married husband Thomas. She had a number of part-time jobs and between 1963 and 1973 left work to raise their three daughters.

Mr and Mrs Hayburn also had a fourth, adopted, daughter.

Before her death, she said she did not think she had ever come into contact with asbestos.

But her husband said he had worked with it and although he had taken proper precautions his wife had washed his overalls, which the coroner said was where she probably came into contact with it.

The hearing was told Mrs Hayburn had four times the normal amount of the deadly fibres in her body.

Coroner Paul Marks recorded a verdict of death by industrial disease.