Pleural Plaques Case Study for Pipe Fitter Scotland

Asbestos was lying so deeply on the floor that it literally came up over my ankles

When Ian Drew started as a maintenance fitter at Dalmarnock Power Station in Glasgow in 1961, asbestos wasn’t just the material that insulated pipes, tubes and the boilers themselves.

The asbestos was literally everywhere including forming a deadly carpet of dust anything up to six inches deep on the power station floors.

Ian, 74, of Athelstane Drive in Cumbernauld is one of Scotland’s small army of the pleural plaques sufferers whose cases have been in legal limbo for the last five or six years.

Ian said: “When I started in Dalmarnock asbestos was used on every heat bearing surface because it was the most efficient way of preventing heat escaping.

“I remember it was lying so deeply on the floor that it literally came up over my ankles.

“That meant that every time you took a step you sent clouds of the stuff into the air so we were all breathing it in day and daily”.

Ian’s asbestos exposure started in Dalmarnock and continued when he became part of a maintenance flying squad working in other power stations including Kincardine, Cockenzie and Hunterston.

Ian who is married with three children six grandchildren and one great grand child was diagnosed when he became breathless in 2003, and tests showed he had pleural plaques.

“Worrying about pleural plaques developing into something more serious is a terrible strain. It’s something that is with you all the time, like a big black cloud hanging over you.

“I don’t ask if it’s got any worse because I am scared of what they might tell me. I have see too many friends who started off with pleural plaques go onto to develop cancer or die from mesothelioma”.

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