A Hillingdon -born retired security guard, suffering from a terminal disease caused by asbestos, hopes to find answers about how he was exposed to the material after working at various sites in west London.

Paul Singleton, 71, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, in September 2015 after months of struggling with a bad cough.

He has joined with legal experts to call for help from his former co-workers, instructing asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he developed the illness and, as part of their work, they are seeking information on the working conditions he faced whilst he worked for Securicor between 1970 and 1973.

Paul, who now lives in Maidenhead, told the legal experts that he believes he could have been exposed to asbestos during this time working at a range of different sites for the security firm, with this work taking in sites such as Marshall’s concrete factory in West Drayton , and Officer School in Chelsea , before moving to Slough where he was a supervisor at Heathrow Airport and a number of other locations.

The RMT rail union recently called for Ealing Broadway station to be closed after roof tiles containing asbestos fell onto the platform .

Could more have been done?

Asbestos seen through a microscope

Paul first started to feel unwell in September 2014, but only sought medical advice after developing a bad cough in January 2015.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma several months later and continues to suffer symptoms including pain, fatigue, shortness of breath and loss of appetite.

He is also currently fitted with a chest drain to remove fluid from his lungs.

Paul's health has now deteriorated dramatically and he is struggling to breathe and can no longer get out of bed. He has only been given another couple of weeks to live and is receiving home hospice care.

Paul said: “It has been incredibly hard to come to terms with illness and all I want to know now is how it developed and whether more should have been done to protect me.

“The concrete factory West Drayton produced cement pipes and I recall the factory being dirty and dusty. I visited all different areas of the factory, including the boiler room.

“During my time at Heathrow Airport governing the detention of illegal immigrants, I also recall visiting Hatton Cross during a lot of engineering works too.

“I would be hugely grateful if anyone with information about working for Securicor and the conditions they faced would be able to get in touch."

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Sad truth that 'many employers were aware of dangers'

Workers dealing with asbestos are now given protective gear, but this wasn't always the case ©Mirrorpix

Joanne Jefferies, a specialist asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, representing Paul, said: “This story is sadly very similar to many others we see every day, with Paul developing mesothelioma many years after when he believes he was exposed to the material.

“It is also a sad truth that many employers were aware of the dangers of asbestos for many years before workers in lots of instances were provided with equipment to protect them.

“The consequences of these actions are now impacting thousands of people in the UK every year.

“We are investigating Paul’s work history to find out more about how he was exposed to this deadly material and would be keen to hear from anyone with knowledge of the conditions he would have faced during his time with Securicor.”

Anyone with information should contact Joanne Jefferies at Irwin Mitchell on 0207 421 3936 or email joanne.jefferies@irwinmitchell.com.