Asbestos exposure led to teacher’s death, coroner rules

25th January 2016

Elizabeth Belt, who taught at a number of schools across North Lincolnshire, died as a result of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a coroner has ruled.

She passed away in September 2015 at the age of 68 after having battled mesothelioma for three years, reports scunthorpetelegraph.co.uk. Before her death, Mrs Belt spoke about how she was exposed to asbestos during her employment as a teacher at an inquest.

The first time she was exposed to the material was when she worked in the infant section of Brigg County Primary School. Every few weeks, she would have to change the work displayed on large sections of boarding, which meant sticking pins in and out of it. If there was asbestos in the boarding, this would have disturbed it and Mrs Belt could have breathed it in. The classroom was said to have been constantly dusty, too.

Later on in her career, she went to work for Baysgarth School to teach students with special needs and stayed there until 1995. She stated that the students caused a lot of damage to the school – one boy had kicked a hole in the wall, which the other pupils then also hit.

Coroner Paul Kelly said that Mrs Belt had likely ingested the asbestos fibres before 1995 and not after.

“I have no doubt that [Mrs Belt] contracted malignant mesothelioma as a result of ingesting asbestos while working as a teacher at various schools in North Lincolnshire between 1968 and 1995,” he stated.