The family of an East End London labourer are appealing to his former colleagues for answers about how he was exposed to asbestos, which caused his death.

Brian Dowse died at the age of 75, six weeks after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related lung cancer.

His family believe that he was exposed to asbestos between 1962 and 1987 when he worked for R Woollaston & Co as a general labourer.

Mr Dowse worked across the East End in hospitals, offices, and schools, as well as demolition sites where a lot of buildings were damaged from the war.

Mr Dowse’s wife of 25 years, Linda Dowse, said: “Brian’s health deteriorated so quickly in such a short space of time. Our family are desperate for any information so we can fit the pieces of how he was exposed together.

“If anyone who worked with Brian between 1962 and 1987 could come forward with any information, no matter how small, it would mean the world to us.”

Mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos and often develops decades after exposure. According to the Health and Safety Executive, mesothelioma killed 2,446 people in Great Britain in 2018.

Mr Dowse’s family is being supported by Thompsons Solicitors, who paved the way for asbestos litigation in the UK ever since it brought about the first successful asbestos disease claim to the House of Lords in 1972. As a point of principle, Thompsons only represents workers and their families who have developed asbestos diseases and never acts for employers or insurance companies. It is also one of a handful of specialist firms in the UK to be a member of the Mesothelioma UK Legal Panel in recognition of its expertise.

Jackie Wood, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Brian’s family remain devastated by his death and have a number of questions about how he was exposed to the deadly fibres and developed such a terrible disease.

“Brian worked in London for a significant period of time so we’re hopeful someone will come forward with the information his family are desperate for.”

Anyone with information should contact Jackie Wood at Thompsons Solicitors on 0207 290 0056 or email