An 82-year old retired labourer who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015, is seeking answers about why his former London-based employer Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) allowed him to be exposed to deadly levels of toxic asbestos dust during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
Vitor Nascimento, who worked in Fulham and Battersea, was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2015. He is appealing for his ex-colleagues to come forward with any information about the working conditions they experienced at CEGB’s Fulham Power Station between 1966 and 1967 and its Battersea Power Station between 1969 and 1984.
Mr Nascimento joined CEGB in 1966 as a labourer at its Fulham Power Station. During the six months he spent sweeping the station’s floors, he recalls the pipes being lagged with asbestos and stripped to undertake repairs, which created a lot of dust. In 1969, Mr Nascimento was again exposed to asbestos dust whilst working as a floor sweeper at CEGB’s Battersea Power Station.
In 1976, Mr Nascimento became a welder at CEGB’s Battersea Power Station. He remained in the role for eight years until being made redundant in 1984. He recalls working in and around the boiler house, the dustiest area of the power station, where sweepers were constantly stirring up asbestos dust and asbestos lagging was frequently being stripped from pipes connected to the back of the boilers. Mr Nascimento also used welding rods coated in what is believed to be asbestos.
During all three periods of being exposed to asbestos whilst working for CEGB, Mr Nascimento was never provided with a face mask.
In December 2015, following a hospital scan, a tumour was discovered on Mr Nascimento’s left lung. Following the operation to remove the tumour in February 2016, he is now required to attend ongoing hospital appointments to monitor his health.
Mr Nascimento says: “When I started working for CEGB in 1966 I had just moved to the UK from Portugal and spoke very little English. I didn’t know what asbestos was or what laggers were, but I did see men in blue overalls and masks removing lagging. Whilst I tried to protect myself from breathing in the dust, it couldn’t be avoided as it was such as dusty environment. But, during all the time I worked at CEGB, I cannot remember being told that asbestos was harmful.”
Having instructed expert asbestos and mesothelioma compensation lawyers at Hodge Jones & Allen in London to investigate how he was exposed to asbestos dust, Mr Nascimento wants to find out if CEGB could have done more to protect him from the lethal substance.
His solicitor Isobel Lovett says: “It is likely that Mr Nascimento is in this unfortunate situation because his employer exposed him to asbestos at work and failed to protect him from the deadly dust. Clearly, this should not have happened. The dangers of asbestos were well known to employers at the time of his employment.”
Mr Nascimento has asked anyone who has information that may help to please contact Isobel Lovett at Hodge Jones & Allen on 020 7874 8502 or email ILovett@hja.net.