A pensioner diagnosed with lung disease is appealing to former colleagues who may know how he became exposed to asbestos during his job as a mill worker.
John Merritt, 67, believes he contracted diffuse pleural thickening (DPT) after being exposed to asbestos fibres and dust while working for John Dickinson & Co. in Croxley Mill.
DPT is a life-limiting condition and is caused by asbestos exposure that causes extensive scarring which thickens of the membrane that lines the thorax.
The disease can cause breathlessness, but can also trigger debilitating coughs, tiredness and weight loss. Sadly, there is no cure for the condition.
Plea to mill workers
Mr Merrit worked in the cutting house and operated the cutting machines between 1965 and 1976. John Dickinson & Co. was one of the largest paper mills in Hertfordshire before it closed in 1982.
Now, after being diagnosed with the crippling condition, Mr Merritt has launched a legal battle against the mill and is now appealing for anyone who worked there to get in touch.
Mr Merritt told the Watford Observer: “I get very breathless and a pain in my chest if I try to do too much too quickly.
“If I’m walking upstairs or trying to do house work I have to go at a slower pace and allow more time to complete tasks I used to take for granted. It’s frustrating and has a big effect on my everyday life.”
Mr Merrit, a widower from Great Gove in Bushey, worked at the paper mill for 11 years and says it’s possible that working close to pipes lagged with asbestos could be the cause of his condition.
Dangers of working with asbestos
Asbestos was once considered a useful building material, but it has since been discovered that working with it can have serious consequences, including causing respiratory conditions or illnesses such as the cancer mesothelioma.
Source: Watford Observer