Father’s life claimed by asbestos mix


Prolonged exposure to asbestos as far back as 1952 caused the death of a Leighton man earlier this year, an inquest heard.

Anthony Poynter, 77, of Roosevelt Avenue, died at his home on July 20 – five months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

An inquest into Mr Poynter’s death, which took place in Ampthill on Thursday, heard that two months before his death the 77-year-old gave a statement to explain the causes behind his diagnosis.

The statement outlined Mr Poynter’s first job at a biscuit factory in 1952, during which it was his role to pour out and mix up insulation materials which contained asbestos.

This he would do by hand.

The statement read: “The powder was very light and I would come home like I was in flour.

“(There was) no way I could avoid breathing it in every day.”

Mr Poynter, who went on to work for an asbestos insulating company between 1960-72, said that at the time the severe danger of the substance was not known.

He added that “although (the diagnosis) was not a surprise, it was still completely devastating”.

At the conclusion of the inquest senior coroner Tom Osborne ruled that Mr Poynter– who leaves behind his wife Anita and their four children– died as a result of an industrial disease.