Harmful Chemicals at Work
The widow of a process worker who died from bladder cancer as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals is calling on other workers exposed to seek immediate medical attention. Mr Douglas Taylor worked for the Castleford company, Hickson and Welch, between 1961 and 1990 during which he came into contact with aromatic amines. In an out of court settlement, Mrs Freda Taylor finally won a five-year battle following the death of her husband in May 2001.
Exposure to aromatic amines can result in cyanosis through lack of oxygen with parts of the exposed individual’s body turning blue. Upon withdrawal from exposure there should be a full recovery but it may require admission to hospital and the administration of an injection of methylene blue. In Mr Taylor’s medical records are recorded instances of him attending hospital after being overcome by fumes. The first occasion was in 1971 and the second occasion was in 1973 when he was kept in hospital overnight. Such exposures to aromatic amine fumes were extremely common amongst the men who worked in the reduction area.
Compensation for Cancer
“The settlement marks the end of a very difficult period for me and my family following the loss of Dougie five years ago,” said Mrs Taylor. “However, it marks the beginning of a campaign by me to ensure that other families don’t endure the pain and suffering that my husband and my family have gone through.
“My plea to anyone who worked at Hickson and Welch is to contact their GP and ensure that they are screened, both now and on a regular basis. This cancer can lay dormant – as it did with Dougie – and many of these men are potentially sitting on a timebomb that can end their lives.
“I would like to thank Thompsons Solicitors for their expert guidance and support, David Allan QC, and my psychotherapist Jan Battye who has helped me through this traumatic experience. I also thank my two daughters – they have been a rock for me. I just hope that others don’t have to go through what I have.”
Commenting, Marion Voss of Thompsons Solicitors who represented Mrs Taylor, said: “The fact is that hundreds of workers have been exposed to these chemicals and their chances of getting cancer are increased. Mrs Taylor has paved the way with her fight for justice. As well as ensuring that workers are now properly screened, we must ensure that victims are adequately compensated for illnesses they develop.”
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