UK: Picker died of work-related disease, inquest told

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A woman died from a rare lung disease caused by picking flowers and vegetables in Cornwall, an inquest has heard. Rosa Perestrelo, 52, of Reawla Lane, Hayle, was exposed to breathing in irritants in her work picking daffodils and cabbages, a respiratory consultant said.

Dr. Benjamin Soar told the Truro inquest Ms Perestrelo began her seasonal work in 1998 and continued working in a “dusty environment” until 2016. Assistant coroner for Cornwall Emma Hillson recorded a conclusion of industrial disease.

Dr. Soar said Ms Perestrelo’s lung disease was “quite a rare condition, the vast majority, 90 percent plus, are smoking related.” He said Ms Perestrelo, a non-smoker, suffered a rare reaction to organic and non-organic compounds while picking cabbages.

She was treated for pulmonary TB but not fit enough for a lung transplant, he said. Ms Perestrelo, originally from Madeira, died in August 2023 from end stage lung pulmonary fibrosis. The inquest heard her family describe her as “a very sociable person, who loved the outdoors and gardening, and was an excellent mother and grandmother”.


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