Mother-of-three Dies from Secondary Exposure to Asbestos.

Mother-of-three Dies from Secondary Exposure to Asbestos

Secondary exposure to asbestos 30 – 40 years ago is causing mesothelioma cancer:
Mother-of-three Dies from Secondary Exposure to Asbestos. The death of 53 year old mother-of-three, Debbie Brewer from mesothelioma, once again raises the issue of secondary exposure to asbestos. Debbie fought a long battle against the disease and was a tireless campaigner for research and raising awareness of the disease. In her blog ‘Mesothelioma and Me’ she speaks openly about her condition and the affect it has had on her and her family.

Debbie was exposed to asbestos dust as a child. She would have embraced her father when he returned from work in the Royal Navy’s Devonport shipbuilding yard in Plymouth where he worked as an asbestos lagger. Asbestos laggers were responsible for applying the lagging which was used as an insulation material in the shipbuilding and construction industry. Part of his job was to scrape asbestos off pipes and when he returned home at the end of his work day his clothes, hair and skin were covered in asbestos dust. Laggers were particularly exposed to asbestos as in the early days of its use they would have had to make up an asbestos fibre mix which was applied to the surface of areas requiring insulation.

Debbie’s dad, Philip Northmore died in August 2006 of an asbestos related lung cancer. In 2007 the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) settled his compensation claim by a payment of €87,000. Debbie also claimed compensation from the MoD and used her compensation to undergo experimental treatment in Germany. Debbie Brewer died on Sunday 9th June, 2013 of the same cancer that killed her dad.

New figures from the UK Health & Safety Authority show that over 400 women a year are dying from the asbestos related illness mesothelioma. In Ireland very limited data is available, however we are seeing an increasing number of enquiries from women who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. They have never worked outside the home and it appears that they have had secondary exposure to asbestos either by washing work clothes or coming in contact with a loved one who was working in an environment where they had occupational exposure to asbestos.

If you or a loved one has been affected by exposure to asbestos phone us on 01 87 444 22 or email us at

Useful Links:
Cancer Research UK Key Facts – Mesothelioma.
National Cancer Registry Ireland – Mesothelioma.

The Citizens Information Website