Search Is On For Former Workers In The Chiswick Foundry

Following the death of a former employee from lung cancer caused by asbestos


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The widow of an ex-foundry worker is appealing for help from her husband’s former Chiswick colleagues following his death from an aggressive lung cancer caused by asbestos.

Edward Henning was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2017. Mesothelioma is a terminal lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Less than 10 months after being told he had the cancer, Edward died at the age of 67.

The National Asbestos Helpline is helping Edward’s widow to make an industrial disease compensation claim to secure justice. To do this they need the help of anyone who worked for the Foundry & Metallurgical Equipment Co Ltd in the Chiswick area of London during the 1960s and 1970s.

The factory was opened in 1960 by Efco and Stein & Atkinson as a joint venture company to design, manufacture and supply foundry equipment.

Edward worked in the factory during the late 1960s finishing metal castings. He was exposed to asbestos while coating metal parts used in airplane construction. The parts were dipped in a large vat containing a finishing mixture that included asbestos. It is believed that some of the parts were designed for use on Concord. In those days asbestos was used throughout heavy industry and in construction for its natural insulating and fireproof properties. The metal foundry required the use of high temperatures and the factory buildings would have also contained asbestos to help control the heat.

Jan Garvey, from the National Asbestos Helpline, says: “Mesothelioma takes decades to develop and after such a long time it can be difficult to uncover the evidence needed to prove where and when exposure to asbestos dust occurred. To help Edward’s family we need to hear from anyone who worked for Foundry & Metallurgical Equipment Co Ltd during the 1960s and 70s. What were the working conditions like? What else was asbestos used for? Were employees issued with safety equipment?

“Asbestos is devastating a generation of people, like Edward, who have worked hard all their lives in horrible conditions and should be enjoying a long retirement. Mesothelioma is particularly cruel and aggressive. We really need the help of anyone who may have information about Foundry & Metallurgical Equipment Co Ltd.”

Edward’s widow, Ayse says: “Edward was a very healthy and active man but, once he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, his health started to go very quickly. It’s a very bad form of cancer. He still tried to do everything for himself but during his last few days I had to hire him a wheelchair. I feel very bitter when I think about it and this horrible poison that all those young men never knew about.”

Ayse and Edward met in Copenhagen in 1978 and later married in 2004. The couple settled in Finchley, London. He has a son who lives in Australia from a previous marriage and Ayse has a son and daughter.

The Department of Work and Pensions says that 53,000 people will eventually die from mesothelioma between 2013 and 2037 in the UK. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), more than 2,500 people a year die from mesothelioma.

Anyone who can help with memories and insight into the presence and use of asbestos in the Foundry & Metallurgical Equipment Co Ltd factory in Chiswick area, please call Jan Garvey at the National Asbestos Helpline on freephone 0800 043 6635 or email Your details will remain confidential.

June 19, 2018

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