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Third family member dies from asbestos

Two brothers and a sister died from a rare form of cancer related to asbestos exposure, an inquest has heard.

At the inquest into the death of 65-year-old Charlie Glass from Broadford Rise, Ballinteer, Dublin 16, who passed away from the asbestos-related cancer at St Vincent's Hospital on September 14 last year, the Dublin coroner heard that his brother and sister also died as a result of exposure to the deadly fibres.

All three were separately exposed to asbestos. His son David Glass told the court that his father had worked cutting asbestos sheets at Brooks Thomas Building Providers in the mid-60s for three to four years from the age of 14.

His uncle was exposed while working as a pipefitter in Australia in the 60s and 70s and his aunt had come into contact with asbestos while washing her builder husband's clothing.

All three died from a mesothelioma, a tumour around the lungs which has a more than 90pc association with asbestos exposure.

Mr Glass was diagnosed with the tumour in October 2009 having gone to a VHI Swiftcare Clinic when he hurt his ribs in a fall at work.

Doctors there felt x-rays showed more fluid on his lungs than could be explained by the fall and he was sent for further tests.


Initial CT scans did not reveal the presence of cancer and the fluid was drained. However, it subsequently built back up and further scans showed he had developed a mesothelioma.

Mr Glass did not realise that he had been exposed to asbestos until he was discussing his diagnosis with doctors. It was then that he recalled cutting the asbestos sheets.

"They were cutting asbestos sheets for fire doors. It is fire retardant so at the time it was seen as ideal," said his son.

There was no protective gear worn when they were working on the sheets and no awareness of the dangers involved.

Mr Glass said when his father was diagnosed he was told that he would have 11 months left. "He ended up getting around four years," he said.

Doctors considered Mr Glass, who was a fit man, to be a candidate for radical intervention and he was sent to London where he underwent chemotherapy and surgery.

He died on September 14, 2013.

The presence of a disseminated mesothelioma was confirmed at post-mortem and "numerous asbestos bodies were identified in the lungs", coroner Dr Brian Farrell told the inquest.

He returned a verdict of death by occupational related disease.