A family is warning of the dangers of asbestos after a devoted wife died from being exposed to the hazardous material while washing her husband’s work clothes.

Joan Davies, 89, from Pembroke, died days after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.

It was a second tragedy for the family after Joan's husband David died, also aged 89, from the same cancer 10 years previously.

David, worked for the former Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) in Gabalfa, Cardiff between 1955 and 1969 and then at Pembroke Power Station between 1969 and 1982.

David told his sons he removed asbestos lagging from pipework, either by drilling or cutting into it, so that temperature sensors could be attached to the surfaces for testing.

Son Jeff Davies, 63, recalled his dad coming home covered in dust and that his mum would shake out of his overalls before washing them in the garage.

David workedDavid would come home from work 'covered in dust', his family recalled. (Image: Family photo)

It was admitted that exposure to asbestos from Pembroke Power Station occurred as a result of their negligence and that this went on to cause Joan’s mesothelioma.

Joan had always enjoyed good health until she began to feel unwell in May 2022 with pains in her back and chest. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the end of June 2022. She died on July 17, 2022. David died of mesothelioma in May 2012.

Joan and David met in 1948 and were married in 1955.Joan and David met in 1948 and were married in 1955. (Image: Family photos)

Jeff said: “I suppose everyone says it, but mum and dad really were amazing people. They both had active and productive lives. They worked so hard to make a great life for themselves and the family and didn’t deserve this terrible cancer.

“They were so fit and active, it’s hard to believe anything could have stopped them the way mesothelioma did. They were very active members of their community and they built their own home when they first moved to Pembrokeshire.”

Joan and David loved foreign travel, visiting their son Chris in Australia many times and also enjoyed regular skiing holidays. David was a keen golfer and had been chairman and captain of the South Pembs Golf Club.

Joan and David were 'amazing people', said son Jeff. (Image: Family photo)

The couple spent as much time as they could with their eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

The couple had three sons together, Greg, Chris and Jeff, although Greg has sadly passed away.

Jeff has now bravely shared his story to coincide with this month’s Action Mesothelioma Day.

He said: “Mesothelioma respects no one, and if such otherwise fit and healthy people can be impacted, anyone can. This cancer has been devastating for our family and if some good can come out of this story, that would mean a lot.

“Asbestos cancer can strike anyone, even years down the line, and my family and I want to warn others of the danger still posed by this material. We understand it’s not gone away and people need to be aware of the facts and seek help and support if they have been affected.”

Following Joan’s death, Jeff instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how their mum was exposed to the deadly material.

Irwin Mitchell has now secured an undisclosed settlement in connection with Joan’s mesothelioma diagnosis and death.

Alexandra Lausen, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said: “The last few years have been so hard for Jeff and his family. To lose one parent to asbestos cancer is bad enough, but to watch David and then Joan suffer from mesothelioma and lose their lives as a result is unimaginable.

"Understandably, it left the family devastated and searching for answers.

“Nothing can bring Joan and David back, but we’re pleased to have secured a settlement for the family and hopefully this has given them some answers and closure following such a terrible experience.

“While many people associate asbestos with the past it’s still a present danger today. We regularly deal with cases involving women who are shocked to learn that their illness is asbestos related, particularly when they haven’t worked in industries which are typically associated with the material.”