A man from Leiston who died aged 85 was exposed to asbestos during his working life, an inquest heard.

On Friday, several inquest openings and conclusion readings were heard at Suffolk Coroners’ Court in Ipswich.

The inquest into the death of Peter Hackwell was brought to a close.

The court heard that Mr Hackwell, who was 85 and lived in Leiston, had worked as an electrician at a power station before retiring in 1992. He is believed to have been exposed to asbestos fibres during his working life.

Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals which are resistant to heat and corrosion.

Because of these desirable properties, asbestos was historically used in commercial products such as insulation, fireproofing materials and wallboard materials.

Asbestos is dangerous because when disturbed, it releases tiny fibres into the air which become trapped in the lungs. The use of asbestos is now banned.

In August last year, Mr Hackwell was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a cancer of mesothelial tissue which is associated with exposure to asbestos. He died on November 15.

An inquest into the death of John Stringer, 81 and from Bradwell, was also concluded.

Mr Stringer had worked for some years in ship building before moving to work at a local power station, before beginning a career as a welder.

He died on May 30 in Carlton Court Hospital in Lowestoft as the result of a serious chest infection. He was also suffering with asbestosis, a serious lung condition caused by exposure to asbestos.

Senior Coroner for Suffolk Nigel Parsley recorded a narrative conclusion, finding that Mr Stringer died as the result of an industrial disease although exactly when he was exposed to asbestos could not be ascertained.

An inquest was also opened into the death of Gordon Cross, 76 and from Great Whelnetham. Mr Cross was known to have been exposed to asbestos during his working life.

Mr Cross was admitted to hospital on October 20 with a fever and signs of infection. A biopsy of his lungs showed that he had mesothelioma. His health continued to deteriorate, and he passed away on November 9.

A further inquest was opened for John Burgess from Ipswich. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2022 having been exposed to asbestos during his working life. Mr Burgess was receiving palliative care, and died at home, aged 77.