“Tradespeople need to consider lung health of loved ones”

Mavis Nye, from Seasalter, Kent, is fighting to raise awareness of mesothelioma after contracting cancer – thought to be from contact with asbestos on her husband’s work clothes.

Mavis says: “I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by contact with asbestos that affects the lining of the lungs, in 2009. I’ve never worked in the construction industry or on a building site, however my husband Ray did. He used to come home with his clothes covered in dust, which I used to shake clean and wash for him.

“At the time there was very little knowledge about dangers of coming into contact with asbestos, and it never crossed my mind that I would be in danger from inhaling fibres from his clothes. I think it’s important for tradespeople to realise that it’s not just their own lung health that may be at risk, but also loved ones – their partners and even children.

“Thankfully I am still here to talk about my condition, but I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I want to make sure no-one has to go through this experience in the future.”

Occupational lung diseases such as mesothelioma – caused by exposure to asbestos fibres – are increasing. Since 1992, mesothelioma deaths have increased by 70% to 1,862 and it receives far less money for research than other cancers that kill the same number of people, something that Mavis is very keen to change.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation (BLF), said: ““Mavis’s story is truly inspiring. She is understood to be one of the few people in the world to be in recovery from mesothelioma.

“Breathing in asbestos dust can result in mesothelioma. It takes a long time to develop from the time of original exposure, so people might not experience symptoms for many years. It’s important that everyone in the construction trade is aware of the risks to their own health, and also to their friends and family.”

Festool, leading supplier of high-end power tools and accessories, including a range of dust extractors, has been speaking with those affected by mesothelioma as part of its latest Breathe Easy campaign. The company has been selling special cycling tops available here: http://bit.ly/Festooltop, to raise awareness and money for the BLF, as well as other fundraising initiatives as part of its Road Show.

Jon Burcham, Marketing Manager at Festool, said: “Festool has long-been associated with our excellent dust extraction systems. We can see that dust extraction and the measures tradespeople need to take to protect their lungs is something that more and more people are talking about. But the awareness needs to go further. As Mavis’ devastating story shows, it’s not just the individuals on a site who are at risk, people in the trade need to be aware of the risks to their families and partners and take steps to protect them as well.”

Perfect for mobile use and assembly, the Festool range of safe and robust dust extractors are lightweight and compact, ideal to transport from job to job, saving time for tradespeople. Festool’s dust extractors are suitable for any job from low to high class dust, including general work to anything that is a known carcinogen including lead, cadmium and asbestos. To find the right dust extractor for you, visit www.festool.co.uk for more information. For further information about mesothelioma, visit the British Lung Foundation’s website: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/mesothelioma.


Western Air Ducts Installs Intelligent LEV Solution at New Research Centre

The UK’s new High Temperature Research Centre (HTRC) has been designed to provide the UK with world-leading R&D capabilities in investment casting – and to tackle the dust extraction and fume extraction challenges these processes involve, both today and in the future, Western Air Ducts has designed and installed a complete, intelligent LEV system.

The showcase £60m facility, part of the Manufacturing Technology Centre campus at Coventry’s Ansty Business Park, is the result of a joint collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Rolls Royce plc.

The function of the HTRC will be to enable production-scale and advanced manufacturing research in a range of processes including core, wax and shell casting, chemical leaching and etching, and abrasive blasting and emery dress finishing, for aerospace and other industrial sectors – a challenging proposition for the LEV installation – particularly in an R&D environment where the quality of fume extraction and dust extraction could be critical to success.

One of the prime challenges for Western Air Ducts in the design and specification of this complex LEV installation was the client’s requirement for a highly flexible solution, not only in the initial phase, but also to “future proof” the building, allowing for the later installation of a wide variety of different machines and processes.

wad2In addition, the design and build of the facility was on an ambitious timescale, so that during the initial LEV design stage, although “zones of activity” had been determined, the shop floor production equipment that was to be vented had not yet been selected.

To meet this critical need for flexibility, Western Air Ducts designed a comprehensive LEV system consisting of eight independent systems, each serving a particular area in the facility, and each being equipped with the company’s patented Inteliair™ system – to provide maximum control and energy efficiency.

The innovative principle behind Inteliair is the integration of a programmable logic controller into the air control system. This optimises the efficiency of dust extraction, fume extraction and ventilation systems by continuously monitoring demand and then regulating the extraction or supply of air in accord with that demand. Traditional LEV systems are not able to react to actual demand; being simply either “on” or “off”, resulting in low operational efficiency, high energy costs and consequent environmental impact – all of which issues were overcome by the Western Air Ducts solution.

Although the Inteliair system can be retrofitted, the fact that it was in this case specified from the outset, meant that the HTRC system could be accurately sized based on actual usage (as opposed to the total number of positions) resulting in a reduction in initial capital equipment cost.

As MD, Chris Lintern, explains; “We are delighted to have won this prestigious contract, which was awarded after a competitive tender process that involved extensive discussion with the client as, with such a complex project, it was vital that the selected supplier would be able to work in close partnership with the client.”

Western Air Ducts

Western Air Ducts is a leading firm of Industrial Air Quality Consultants and Engineers, delivering complete dust and fume extraction systems and providing clients around the world with a complete service from consultation and design, to manufacturing, installation and maintenance.

The company has over 40 years experience of creating bespoke extraction systems for clients in a wide variety of sectors, including food, pharmaceuticals, foundry, plastics and polymers, during which time the company has gained a reputation for its extensive expertise and commitment to providing solutions of the highest quality standards.


Inteliair™ is an intelligent air control system that simultaneously reduces operating costs, lowers carbon footprint and improves air quality by optimising the efficiency of dust extraction, fume extraction and ventilation systems. These benefits are achieved by the automatic continuous monitoring of demand, and the regulation of the extraction or supply of air in accordance with that demand – providing potential energy cost savings of over 40%.

Inteliair™ can be installed in new or existing extraction or ventilation systems and can significantly reduce initial capital costs through the ability to accurately size systems based on actual usage. In addition, the system can be configured to enable remote access to monitor current and past performance as well as providing override control if required, so reducing reliance on manual intervention.

over 35 years, has clients around the world, including in Europe, the United States, South America and Asia. For further information please visit www.westernairducts.com.