Cancer ‘death sentence’ warning for former Mansfield factory workers

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The family of a former factory worker diagnosed with terminal cancer are warning other former employees they could also be facing a death sentence.

Thomas Childs, from Mansfield Woodhouse, is in the advanced stages of mesothelioma - a cancer associated with exposure to asbestos - which his family are convinced he contracted through working at Mansfield Hosiery Mills between the 1960s and 1980s.

The 80-year-old, pictured above, had spent time working as a manager at the distribution warehouse on Coxmoor Road from 1964 and 1986, which have long since closed.

During the 80s, he also spent two years at the warehouse on Botany Avenue.

Mr Childs and his family say the roof of the distribution centre on Coxmoor Road contained asbestos, the leading cause of mesothelioma.

His wife Sandra, aged 68, is now wanting to warn other workers, find anyone who knew her husband through work and see if they have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

She said: “There were boxes stacked up and they used to scrape the ceiling meaning the dust would come off.

“He never had any protective clothing, and would regularly come home covered in the dust.

“It’s classed as an industrial disease, and the doctors seem to think it could have been caused by this.

“It can take 30 or 40 years to come into being, so there could be others out there who worked there and not even know they have it.”

Thomas fell ill days before Christmas, unable to breathe.He was then given the devastating diagnosis.

Sandra said: “He’s been given a death sentence.”

Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause for mesothelioma, with nine out of 10 cases related to exposure to the deadly dust.

Asbestos is made up of tiny fibres that can be breathed in and work their way into the lining the lung.

Many post-war buildings contained asbestos before its dangers were realised.

More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK each year.

Although once quite rare, numbers of cases are expected to continue rising because of workers exposed during their lifetime.

Anyone who knew Thomas from work is being asked to call Sandra on 07717 208560.