Asons Solicitors Warn of Secondary Exposure to Asbestos After Women Dies Of Mesothelioma

Share Article

According to the BBC, a mother-of-three has died as a result of mesothelioma she contracted as a direct result of sharing childhood embraces with her father. (1)

Debbie Brewer, 53, spent seven years fighting the asbestos related illness, a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. (1)

She was contaminated with asbestos fibres as a child after welcoming her father Phillip Northmore home from work, once he had finished work as an asbestos lagger.(1)

This initial contamination led to the eventual development of mesothelioma.

Most cases of mesothelioma arise in people who come into direct contact with asbestos, this usually occurs within their working environment. These workers will usually have mined asbestos, created asbestos-containing products, or used asbestos materials during construction. (1)

But warns that people can contract an asbestos related illness without ever working with or near the toxic material. Secondary exposure, or indirect exposure, can be just as dangerous. (2)

It is believed she contracted the disease as a child; when hugging her father, asbestos fibres were released into the air from his clothing, where they were then inhaled when she was between 3 and 6.(1)

Mr Northmore died from asbestos-related lung cancer at the age of 68 in 2006 - the same year that Ms Brewer was diagnosed with the long-dormant mesothelioma. (1)

Mesothelioma can lie dormant for up to 40 years, and when it does emerge, the prognosis is generally poor – where the condition is usually fatal within about two years. (1)

Suzanne Yates stated that:

"While any kind of exposure is much less common today, women faced an increased risk for secondary asbestos exposure when asbestos was used frequently during the mid-20th century. After a day of working with asbestos related products, workers could potentially carry home asbestos fibres on their hair, skin and clothes and create a secondary exposure risk for their families."

According to between 1941 and 1954, Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City studied the health of 679 people related to 1,664 workers employed at a factory in Patterson, New Jersey. The researchers discovered five cases of mesothelioma among the family members. Sources of asbestos dust were also discovered in the homes of former Patterson factory workers as much as 20 years after the factory was closed. (2)

Responsible for a large proportion of mesothelioma cases among women, secondary asbestos exposure has also affected the lives of children. If exposed at an early age, people are much more likely to develop an asbestos related illness in the future. Some of the most common ways a family member may have experienced secondary asbestos exposure included coming into contact with contaminated clothing, furniture and tools. (2)

While family members who receive secondary exposure do not have any direct contact with asbestos-containing products, the amount of asbestos dust brought home is enough to cause mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses later in life. (2)

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about the asbestos related illness claims process, or if they would like to better understand asbestos related illness, that information is available at, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133

(1)    Debbie Brewer Death: Cancer Campaigner ‘Inspirational’ - - BBC News June 2013
(2)    Secondary Exposure To Asbestos - - Asbestos June 2013

Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info (at) asons (dot)

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

John King
Follow us on
Visit website