Widow seeks answers about Chingford condom factory asbestos

Charles’ widow Maria believes he was exposed to deadly asbestos while working at the former factory

By Victoria Munro

Charles and his widow Maria (courtesy of family)

A Chingford widow who believes her husband was exposed to asbestos at what was once Britain’s largest condom factory is seeking answers from former colleagues.

Charles Phillips worked at the London Rubber Company factory in Chingford, now a Costco, from approximately 1956 until 1992 and even met his partner of 37 years, Maria, there.

In June 2021, following a rapid decline in his health, Charles died at the age of 92 from mesothelioma, a form of cancer linked to breathing in asbestos.

Maria believes he was exposed to asbestos at the factory, where it was reportedly used as pipe insulation and in the industrial talc used to manufacture latex, and hopes his former colleagues will have the evidence she needs to get justice.  

Isobel Lovett, partner at asbestos specialists Hodge Jones & Allen, said: “Historic asbestos exposure still affects many people like Charles, who develop mesothelioma decades after exposure to asbestos dust whilst at work. 

“Mesothelioma is an awful disease and sadly Charles passed away long before information about his exposure to deadly cancer-causing asbestos fibres could be obtained from him directly. 

“Unfortunately, Charles paid the ultimate price for being dedicated to his work. In cases like this, witnesses are crucial in the search for justice and we would like to hear from anyone who worked at London Rubber Company Limited. 

“We hope that someone reading this will recall Charles and come forward to help us achieve justice for Maria.” 

Anyone who can assist should contact Hodge Jones & Allen, who are supporting Maria’s claim, confidently by calling 0207 874 8502 or emailing [email protected].