Wife dies after 20 years of washing husband’s work clothes

In recent years there has been a multitude of lawsuits regarding asbestos exposure and mesothelioma in the U.S. Many of the cases of mesothelioma were recently diagnosed and attributed to years of asbestos exposure, typically in the workplace and commonly in past decades when the risks of working around asbestos weren’t as well understood as they are today. North Carolina workers as well as workers throughout the U.S. should be aware of the seriousness of the asbestos-related illness.

While many U.S. workers have been significantly impacted by asbestos exposure, it seems in the UK, it’s even more widespread. The UK has the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world and twice as many people die in the UK from the illness as are killed in car accidents.

Surprisingly, not just the workers themselves contracted mesothelioma from working in environments in which asbestos was present and protective gear was minimal or not used at all. Family members of such workers who never worked in those environments have also gotten the illness. In one recent incident, a 78-year-old woman died as a result of mesothelioma after 20 years of laundering her husband’s and son’s work clothes. The clothes were laden with residual particles from the asbestos in their work place and the woman, ingesting those particles daily for 20 years, developed the fatal disease.

The woman, a wife, mother and grandmother, died just 10 weeks after being diagnosed. Her husband also contracted cancer from working around asbestos, yet he recovered. He still, however, hasbestos plaques in his lungs and is being treated.

The family was awarded compensation for the woman’s illness and death in the amount of a U.S. equivalent of $13,775. They donated the money to the hospice that cared for the woman prior to her death.

Source: Daily Mail, “Grandmother dies from asbestos poisoning after washing her husband and son’s work overalls everyday for 20 years,” Jaymi McCann, Feb. 7, 2013