A man from Bolton died of an industrial disease, an inquest heard.

Raymond Ian Astbury, of Ascot Road, Little Lever, was just 53 when he died at his home on July 5 this year, Bolton Coroner's Court heard.

The documentary inquest heard how, working as a maintenance supervisor at the East Lancashire Paper Company (ELPC) in Radcliffe, Mr Astbury worked in close proximity to asbestos on a regular basis.

He worked at the company from 1997 until its closure in 2001.

Mr Astbury’s role at ELPC involved cleaning and maintaining machinery, in the process often accessing small spaces behind the back of machines to sweep up debris, and cleaning the areas of any form of dust.

Before his death, Mr Astbury had described the pipework of the machinery as being ‘not in good condition’ and lined with a material he considered to be asbestos.

And that it was between 18 months and two years that he worked being exposed to asbestos dust.

Dr Jimit Sheth of Spring View Medical Centre in Little Lever described how, six months prior to Mr Astbury’s death, he had been suffering from malignant mesothelioma, which he had been diagnosed with in November 2020.

By December 2020, there was a recognition that the disease was incurable and that it would be treated palliatively.

Mr Astbury’s condition progressively deteriorated in the following weeks and months.

In August 2021, he was told the survival rate would be around six to nine months.

Mr Astbury received pain relieving medicines as part of a formal phase of treatment and care, as the disease was to enter an end-of-life phase.

He died on July 5 this year.

Mr Astbury’s widow, Lisa Astbury, raised no concerns regarding the medical treatment and care of her husband prior to his death.

Mr Astbury’s medical cause of death was given as malignant mesothelioma, which was accepted by Senior Coroner Timothy Brennand.

The coroner gave a short-form conclusion of industrial disease, citing the exposure to asbestos in the workplace as contributing to the development of malignant mesothelioma.

Referring to the assertion that Mr Astbury was exposed to asbestos particles, the coroner said: “I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that he was exposed.”