A 60-year-old woman died of cancer just before Christmas after being exposed to asbestos while she was working at a factory, an inquest found this week.

Pauline McGowan, from Chesham, was diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma in August 2016 and sadly died on December 10, 2018.

It came after she worked in a factory making parts for airplane seats in Chesham, which had asbestos in the roofs of all its buildings.

She worked for Flying Service Engineering and Equipment, based in Springfield Road for a number of years, saying in a statement read out to the court by the coroner’s officer that the roofs of all six factory buildings were corrugated asbestos.

In the statement, which she gave in January 2017, she said she also worked closely with plastic sheets for parts, making sure not even a speck of dust was left on them to avoid them being rejected under quality control.

According to the British Lung Foundation’s website, the main cause of mesothelioma is breathing in asbestos dust.

The use of products containing asbestos was banned in the UK in 1999 but Mrs McGowan worked for the factory prior to this, and for a number of years starting in 2000, when she said the roofs of the buildings had hugely deteriorated.

The BLF says it is normal for people to get the first symptoms of mesothelioma 30 to 40 years after they were first exposed to asbestos.

Mrs McGowan is believed to have undergone treatment for the condition.

The medical cause of death was found to be epithelioid mesothelioma and senior coroner Crispin Butler said Mrs McGowan died as a result of the condition.

The cause of death was recorded as an industrial disease.