THE death of a former Wiggins factory worker was not caused by asbestos exposure, an inquest has heard.

William Board, 86, of Eastnor Drive, Hereford, died on March 6 at St Michael’s Hospice, after suffering from lung cancer.

Two tests, one conducted in Hereford and the other by world-leading specialists in Sheffield, found no evidence of asbestos fibres in Mr Board’s lungs at his time of death.

The inquest, held at Herefordshire Coroner's Court, heard evidence from two of Mr Board’s colleagues from Wiggins who said workers at the factory were regularly exposed to asbestos as it was a commonly used building material in the 1960s and 70s.

One former colleague described how he and Mr Board worked with the ovens in the factory which were insulated with asbestos.

He remarked on the ‘dusty’ atmosphere of the factory and how you could see the fibres were visible floating in the air in the sunlight.

He said that masks were available in the factory but workers were never told to wear them.

Another colleague, who worked at the factory in the 1960s and 70s, also described how the factory was dusty and that workers were not ‘made aware’ of the danger of asbestos exposure.

Mr Board retired from work aged 52 after a diagnosis of angina.

A CT scan in June 2017 led to a diagnosis of lung cancer and also showed evidence of plural plaques which could have been a sign of asbestos exposure.

Mr Board was cared for at home by his daughter and in January was transferred to St Michael’s Hospice, where he died two months later.

Coroner Mark Bricknell said he was satisfied that Mr Board’s death was not caused by asbestos and attributed the death to natural causes.

Addressing Mr Board’s family, Mr Bricknell added: “It must be some comfort that it was not the asbestos that led to his death.”