A Cornish man exposed to asbestos while on a government training scheme is calling for former colleagues to come forward to help him.

Anthony Pope, of Green Acres, Hayle was diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma last year.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to the deadly dust asbestos. There is no current cure for the disease, which can lie dormant for up to 30 years.

Mr Pope, 48, was exposed to the dust while working for the Manpower Services Commission scheme from 1985 to 1987. His job entailed cleaning up old buildings, like village halls and churches.

Exposed to Asbestos

He was exposed to asbestos while wire brushing and repairing roofs including various churches in the Falmouth area. The process disturbed asbestos in the roof itself and Mr Pope remembers the dust being blown into his face.

He said: “There was always a breeze which would blow the dust from the asbestos roof into our faces. Some of the corners of the roofs were broken and the asbestos was disturbed.

“We would have to repair the roof which involved taking out old nails and putting new nails back in. Again this disturbed asbestos which would blow up into our faces. We were never given any masks or other protection.”

Mr Pope said he first became aware he was ill when he became breathless last year. 
As a keen rugby player he had hoped to play 300 games before he retired from the sport. But he is now too ill to play despite being just a few matches away from his target.

He said: “I did not know what asbestos was until I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. My life has completely changed since then. I would always be out but I now stay in all of the time. I am unable to play rugby or cycle and instead I stay in my room at home.”

Mr Pope’s lawyer, Julie Appleby added: “We would urge anyone who worked with Mr Pope to get in touch with us. Their evidence is vital to help us pursue compensation on Mr Pope’s behalf. He has been diagnosed with a disease, which he was exposed to through carrying out a hard day’s work. It is important that justice is served and he is fully compensated.”

Anyone who worked with Mr Pope or worked on the Manpower Services Commission Scheme from 1985 to 1987 should get in contact with Julie Appleby on 0191 269 0488.