SEAFORD: Exposed to asbestos during shop facelift

A 75-YEAR-OLD man who worked at Boots in Seaford for many years has died after being exposed to asbestos during a refurbishment at the chemist.

Kenneth Smith, of Poynings Close, Seaford, died at St Wilfrid’s Hospice on February 10 from a mesothelioma.

An inquest into the retired pharmacist’s death was held at Eastbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday morning (March 18).

The coroner heard Mr Smith had worked at Boots in the mid-60s when the building was undergoing refurbishment.

Before he died Mr Smith had told his family the shop was kept open during the works and there was a lot of dust.

He said he was sure the pipes from the old heating system were lagged with asbestos and he said he felt sure he had been exposed to the substance during his time at Boots.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Smith said, “I am sure that no particular care was taken to remove the asbestos.”

Coroner Alan Craze said, “This refurbishment happened in 1966 and in the 1960s they were just starting to know that it was a dangerous substance.

“It is thought that 90 per cent of mesotheliomas are as a result of exposure to asbestos.”

The inquest heard that Mr Smith had no other jobs or hobbies which would have led to exposure of the substance.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of of death by industrial disease.