Trevor Ryder, a 65-year-old man from Welwyn Garden City, England, said his wife Maureen was exposed to asbestos as a result of his employment with Norton Abrasives, the world’s largest manufacturer and supplier of abrasives for technical manufacturing and commercial applications, household and automotive refinishing solutions.
Ryder worked for the company from 1963 through 1985 and said he was unknowingly exposed to asbestos dust on the job. Upon returning home at the end of the workday, Ryder recalls his wife brushing the dust off his clothing.
“She would brush the dust from my clothes every evening and then hand wash them ready for the next day,” said Ryder. This resulted in the secondhand exposure to asbestos he believes lead to his wife’s mesothelioma diagnosis.
Secondhand asbestos exposure can occur when asbestos particles are brought into the home where family and friends may inhale or ingest the toxic fibers. Once in the body, the fibers can become lodged in organs and cavities, causing inflammation or infection. Overtime this may lead to the development of an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma.
Ryder hopes to hear from others in a similar situation as he seeks compensation for the death of his wife.
“I’m sure there must be a number of people in the same situation as my wife and me – people who were unknowingly exposed to this awful dust. We would like to hear from anyone who worked at the company or their families, to try to piece together the facts and track down the insurers,” Ryder said.
According to Ryder, Norton Abrasives “was a big employer in the area,” employing approximately 1,500 people at the Bride Road East location where Ryder worked during his time with the company.
“Most people were exposed to the asbestos to varying degrees,” said Ryder.
“Mrs. Ryder’s death is tragic and completely avoidable had the correct precautions been taken by Mr. Ryder’s employers,” said Ryder’s lawyer. “Many other people may also be suffering without being aware of the cause which is why we are calling on local people to contact us if they have had any connection with Norton Abrasives.”
Norton Abrasives was purchased by Saint-Gobain, a French multi-national corporation, in 1990.
Additional information about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma may be found through the Mesothelioma Center.