The family of a Gorseinon man, who has died from an asbestos disease, is urging his former colleagues to come forward with information on how he was exposed to toxic asbestos dust.

Donald Gear died aged 81 – a matter of months after being diagnosed with the fatal lung cancer, mesothelioma.

Mr Gear worked for a number of automotive firms in Swansea and the surrounding areas. He would often work in dusty, poorly ventilated work environments.

Prior to his death, he recalled working with asbestos specifically while working as a representative for Filtration Engineering Supplies in Brynamman from 1974 to 1976, and the Swansea-based Autela Motor Factors around the same time. In these roles, he would visit company workshops on a daily basis, where colleagues were grinding down asbestos brake pads and clutches with a grinding wheel, creating a significant amount of dust to which he was exposed.

Donald Gear during the 1970s

Sadly, Mr Gear died before he was able to begin a legal claim. With the support of law firm J M Parsons & Co, his family are hoping to seek compensation, which they hope will be aided by information from his former colleagues to provide further details of his exposure to asbestos. 

His son, Barrie Gear, said: “Dad’s diagnosis was a huge shock to our family, but what was worse was seeing how rapidly his health deteriorated afterwards. He wanted to find answers himself but tragically he died before this could happen.

“We’re hoping that his former colleagues can aid our lawyers and help us establish details of the work carried out at these factories, their use of asbestos along with further details of Donald’s exposure to the asbestos that caused his horrifying disease.”

Amanda Jones, a solicitor at Llanelli-based J M Parsons, added: “Donald worked for a number of small car firms around the Swansea area, any one of which might have been the source of his asbestos exposure.

“However, we are particularly interested in anyone who might have worked with Donald during the mid-1970s at Filtration Engineering Supplies or Autela Motor Factors, where he believed he came into contact with colleagues grinding down asbestos brake pads and clutches.

“Any information that could support the family’s appeal would be hugely welcomed – your help could lead to us getting some much-needed answers for the family.”

Anyone with information should contact Amanda Jones on 01554 779940 or