A 73-year-old who died of mesothelioma wrote in a statement that he would regularly watch as youngsters rolled up balls of asbestos and have "snow-ball" fights in the street. 

Terrance Last's statement was written just weeks before his death on March 23 this year and was read out at his inquest at Endeavour House, Ipswich, on Tuesday .

Mr Last's death emphasises the Star campaign The Silent Killer which aims to highlight deaths related to asbestos and to fight for justice for the victims of asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Over the next 15 years the number of deaths is expected to increase dramatically peaking at 10,000 in 2020.

In his statement Mr Last, of St Mary Gardens, Ipswich, said, "I worked in a factory in Ipswich which produced marzipan, jelly and cake toppings from 1955 onwards.

There were boilers and pipes which were lagged with asbestos and often they would burst, leaving asbestos on the floor.

I would sweep asbestos debris off the floor and remember young men outside playing with snowballs of the asbestos cement."

Greater Suffolk coroner Peter Dean said, "He was referred to the hospital by his GP after he started suffering with shortness of breath in 2006.

In March 21 this year he went to the hospital after suffering from shortness of breath again and was given oxygen, pain relief and tender loving care.

He passed away peacefully on March 23 and the post-mortem showed it was of mesothelioma.

A verdict of industrial disease was recorded.

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