Wakefield pensioner's terminal cancer thought to have be caused by washing husband's dirty work clothes

Mavis and Granville Turton.
Mavis and Granville Turton.

A pensioner has been diagnosed with terminal asbestos-related cancer - which it’s suspected was caused by washing her husband’s dirty work clothes for decades.

Mavis Turton, 86, would always give her late husband Granville’s overalls a “good shake” before putting them into the washing machine.

Granville Turton.

Granville Turton.

The mother-of-one developed symptoms including shortness of breath towards the end of last year before she was eventually diagnosed with mesothelioma following tests.

It has now emerged she could have been exposed by cleaning her husband’s overalls, who was a former power station worker.

Her husband was employed at R Sutcliffe from 1956 to 1965, predominantly in the factory as a welder and plater, carrying out repair work.

He then joined Foster Wheeler John Brown Boilers in a similar role in around 1966. Granville and three other friends would take it in turns to drive to work at Eggborough power station.

Family time.

Family time.

Granville re-joined R Sutcliffe in around 1968 remaining in the company until his retirement in 1990 before he sadly died, aged 65, in 2002.

Mrs Turton, of Alverthorpe, is now desperate for answers before “before it’s too late” after doctors gave her a terminal diagnosis.

The former shop assistant and office clerk said: “Throughout all of that time I remember that Granville always used to wear a work shirt and jeans, regardless of who he was employed by.

“He generally wore the same set for a couple of shifts and then would stick them in the washing basket.

Mr Turton.

Mr Turton.

“They would always be dusty and dirty so I would always give them a good shake before putting them in the washing machine.

“Receiving my diagnosis was a massive shock. Initially, I couldn’t think of how I could have been exposed to asbestos.

“It was only overtime that I realised it may have been from sorting Granville’s clothes.

“I know that the doctors cannot do much but I am desperate to know how this happened.

"I would appreciate any help in getting answers regarding that issue. It would mean the world to me.”

Mrs Turton has instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help her establish how she may have come into contact with the material.

Hannah Robinson, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “While we are involved in many cases where individuals have been exposed to asbestos in industrial environments, we are also seeing a number where people have come into direct contact with it through activities like washing clothes.

“Mavis’s case appears to be one of those instances and it is yet another important reminder of the dangers that asbestos can pose.

“Whilst sadly medical professionals cannot do much for Mavis with regards to curing her cancer we are determined to help her gain answers before it’s too late.

“We will be grateful to anyone who would be able to help us our efforts. Any information could prove vital.”

The team is particularly keen to trace people who worked with Granville at mining machinery Company R Sutcliffe Limited based in Wakefield or at Eggborough power station.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hannah Robinson at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 394 6842 or email hannah.robinson@irwinmitchell.com