Dagenham asbestos victim dies three months after being diagnosed with untreatable cancer

A builder who worked with asbestos from the Cape factory in Barking died of an untreatable form of lung cancer just three months after being diagnosed with the disease.

Thomas Baker, formerly of Osborne Square, Dagenham, died of smoking combined with asbestos exposure, which began when he was a teenager in the Fifties, an inquest heard.

Mr Baker used the hazardous insulating material manufactured at the asbestos factory in Harts Lane, Barking, which shut in 1968.

His history of exposure to asbestos fibres increased his risk of developing lung cancer more than five fold, the inquest in Lancaster heard.

Now his widow, Janet Pinkerton-Baker, is trying to trace his former colleagues to shed more light on the working conditions at companies which employed him in east London.

Janet, of Morcambe, Lancashire, said: “We didn’t even know the asbestos exposure had contributed to his illness until after he died because the cancer took him so quickly.”

Thomas was known in the Dagenham area as one of the “Baker boys” because his family was so large. He died in July aged 70.

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