Questions over killer asbestos exposure as Berkhamsted woman dies of industrial disease


A woman died from a form of asbestos poisoning despite having had no noteable contact with the material in her memory, an inquest heard this afternoon.

Joyce Davis, 76, of Chiltern Park Avenue, Berkhamsted, had metastatic mesothelioma, meaning the disease spread around her body before her death on October 24.

Ms Davis’ husband had been a carpenter during his working life and there is a chance she may have come into contact with asbestos through his clothing, although he died earlier of a cancer unrelated to the industrial disease.

Questions were also raised about the replacement of former Tesco store assistant Ms Davis’ garage roof and whether this could have caused the asbestos contamination, but this took place within the last eight years and was therefore ruled out by coroner Edward Thomas.

According to family present at Herts coroner’s court Ms Davis, who was born in Darlington and spent some of her childhood being brought up in orphanages, knew she was terminally ill, and was receiving palliative care.

She died at home. Mr Thomas recorded a narrative verdict, saying: “It is a very sad case, because it is such a dreadful disease. It’s a shame not to be able to link it to an exposure, but that is not unusual.”