A former wallpaper factory worker is urging his former work colleagues to come forward after he was diagnosed with an asbestos related disease.

Robert Birdsall, 70, from Garforth, Leeds was diagnosed with asbestosis in January this year after complaining of increasing breathlessness.

The disease is caused by breathing in asbestos fibres; usually over a prolonged period of time.

Mr Birdsall has difficulty walking up hills, can no longer enjoy gardening, going for country walks or his hobby of DIY around his home. He struggles with any physical activities on a daily basis. His condition is likely to worsen as years go by and increases his risk of lung cancer.

Thompsons Solicitors are experienced in dealing with asbestos claims

Following his diagnosis he instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

Mr Birdsall believes he was exposed to asbestos working as a wallpaper printer at Smith & Butler, based on Harehills Lane, Leeds.

He worked for the firm from 1957 to 1979 where his job involved printing rolls of wallpaper and then drying them in a huge oven.

He would like to hear from anyone who worked at Smith & Butler who may have information about the working environment and the drying ovens.

Did you work at Smith & Butler on Harehills Lane, Leeds?

Mr Birdsall said: “I was really upset by my diagnosis and I’m worried about what the future holds. I find my breathlessness frustrating. I’ve always worked hard but my disability means I’m becoming more and more reliant on other people’s help.

“I’d like to hear from anyone who used to work at Smith & Butler and can remember the type of conditions we worked in.”

Marion Voss from Thompsons Solicitors added: “To help Mr Birdsall it is important to build up an accurate picture of his working environment.”

Anybody with any information should contact Marion Voss on 08000 224 224 or email enquiries@thompsons.law.co.uk.