The family of a mother who died from cancer due to asbestos on her husband’s overalls are trying to find out more about his exposure to the deadly dust.

Annie Shotton, originally from South Shields, died aged 80 in December 2010, from asbestos related lung cancer mesothelioma.

She was diagnosed with the cancer in March 2008. There is no cure for the disease which develops decades after exposure.

Paint companies in the North East

Mrs Shotton never worked with asbestos but her husband, Ernest, was exposed regularly during his career as an inspector for a number of paint companies.

His job took him to shipyards across the North East where asbestos was used.

Mr Shotton died in 1994 and now his son Philip is trying to find out more about his exposure to asbestos.

Following his mother’s death he instructed Thompsons Solicitors for advice about compensation.

Shook asbestos dust from overalls before washing

After reviewing Mrs Shotton’s working history it became clear she was exposed to asbestos from her husband’s work overalls. At the end of the working day she would shake out the dust before washing them in a twin tub machine.

Now Thompsons would like to speak to anyone who worked alongside Mr Shotton in his job as an inspector for three international paint companies which took him to Shipyards across the North East.

Thompsons is interested in talking to painters as well as other tradesmen who may have worked alongside him.

International Paint Ltd based in Low Fell, Lewis Berger Paints and Jotun Paints

The dad of two and granddad of four and great granddad of four, worked for International Paint Ltd, based in Low Fell, as a paint technologist from the 1950s until 1963.

He then worked for Lewis Berger Paints, from 1963 until 1964 and then Jotun Paints until his retirement in 1994.

During his career his job took him to every shipyard in the North East.

The family lived in Taylor Street in South Shields before moving to Chester Le Street in the late 1960s.

Exposed to asbestos in shipyards

Philip said: “My dad came home covered in dust from the shipyards. My mum washed his clothes every day and never dreamed that it would cause her death. Its devastating to know that his lifelong work caused her death which is why we feel it is important to find out exactly how this happened.

“We want to hear from anyone who worked for - or knows anything about - the paint companies and the work they did in the shipyards at the time my dad was there so we can find out more.”

Oliver Collett from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Our investigations show that Mrs Shotton was most likely exposed to asbestos from her husband’s overalls. We are trying to build an accurate picture of his working conditions so we can help this family.”

Anyone who worked for or alongside colleagues at International Paint, Jotun Paints and Lewis Berger Paints in North East shipyards between 1950 and the late 1970s should contact Oliver Collett on 08000 224 224.