A GRAN diagnosed with terminal lung cancer is appealing for help after she spent part of her working life in East Lancashire factories.

Elizabeth Black, 70, has contracted mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in the 1960s, it is believed.

She was employed by a number of well-known names in Burnley from 1966 onwards, according to her lawyers.

And Elizabeth might even have come into contact with the deadly fibres when she washed the work clothes of her husband Russell, a controller at Michelin Tyres in the early 70s.

Elizabeth said: “I have not felt well since about 2016 onwards. I noticed that I was suffering with shortness of breath.

“I thought high blood pressure and asthma was causing my breathlessness. It was a terrible shock to be told it was actually asbestos dust and fibres.

“Now I suffer from severe shortness of breath. If I walk anywhere I quickly tire and become breathless. I am able to manage stairs, but I have to do so in my own time using the hand rails to steady myself.

“Since the onset of my shortness of breath my mood has been low and both I and my family have found my diagnosis difficult to come to terms with.

“Should there be any treatment available for my condition then I would want to have this. I want as much time with my family as possible.”

Her legal team at Birchall Blackburn Law are formulating an industrial disease compensation claim and have issued an appeal on the mother-of-three’s behalf.

Elizabeth worked first for John Wallace Printing, previously Veevers & Hensman, on Parliament Street from 1966 to 1968 as a receptionist.

She was then employed as a post girl at Joseph Lucas between 1965 and 1966 at their Wood Top and Hargher Clough factories.

Then from 1967 to 1968 she was a receptionist for Gretna Laboratories on Rossendale Road.

It is thought that in her various roles, delivering mail and message across the factory sites, she may have been exposed to asbestos.

Another possibility is that she breathed in the fibres while doing the washing – her husband assisted during factory shutdowns at Michelin as a cleaner and is likely to have come into contact with asbestos that way.

Victoria Roberts, an asbestos-disease specialist solicitor, said people’s memories of working at the respective factories could be crucial, including whether people were issued with protective clothing or equipment, or the products involved.

She added: “Mesothelioma takes 10 to 50 years to develop in the lungs after exposure to asbestos airborne fibres. After such a long time it’s difficult to find out where and when the asbestos exposure happened, which is why we need Burnley’s retired workers to help. If we can’t uncover those memories then there is a real danger of injustice for Elizabeth.”

Contact Victoria on 01244 688 763 or by e-mailing varoberts@birchallblackburn.co.uk