IT IS hoped medical science will catch up to a ‘rapidly progressive’ disease, a coroner has said.

An inquest into the death of Michael Burns, 75, of Church Road in Broughton, established that his death was likely to have been caused by exposure to asbestos during his working life.

John Gittins, coroner for North Wales (East and Central), told the hearing at County Hall in Mold, Mr Burns was diagnosed with mesothelioma following his admission to hospital in January 2019.

Mr Gittins read out a statement from Mr Burns which was written on April 10, 2019.

The hearing heard how Mr Burns was exposed to asbestos for many years during his profession as a carpet planner, as he would often drill holes into asbestos tiles.

He said: “The problem was, whilst some floors were concrete, a great many were asbestos tiles.

“The dust went everywhere. You couldn’t avoid breathing it in.

“The first thing I did when I got home was have a wash. My face in particular was dusty and dirty. I was not given any warnings of the dangers of working with asbestos.”

Upon leaving work, Mr Burns suffered several chest infections over the past ten years, but ‘nothing serious’ and he had no real breathing problems.

However, the hearing heard how last year, he received pain under his ribs and went to hospital.

Scans showed he had fluid on his lung which had collapsed.

Mr Burns’ statement went on to say: “I was asked if I had worked with asbestos, I said I had and they said they had reason to believe it was serious.

“I was told I had mesothelioma.”

Mr Gittins said Mr Burns was admitted to hospital on January 4 and later had to have a chest drain, which was removed on January 23.

The coroner added: “During his working life he would have been involved in and exposed to asbestos.

“It’s that exposure which let to mesothelioma.”

Mr Gittins recorded his death has industrial related disease.

He said: “At this moment in time there is no cure.

“It’s something I see regularly. I know how horrible the process is. If there’s any comfort to be achieved from this, I can only think it’s the speed in which he passed away. As awful as those weeks and months must have been, I know it could have been much worse in the circumstances.

“It is a very rapidly progressive disease by large, no-one really understands it.

“Going back, no-one perceived these risks, it is only hoped we learn more, there’s more cases that come forward, that medical science catches up.”