Asbestos exposure during years of working at power stations was the cause of death for a 72-year-old Bushey man, an inquest heard yesterday.

Robert Kynaston, of Orchard Close, was admitted to the Peace Hospice, Peace Drive, Watford, in January, suffering from breathlessness and a loss of appetite.

His condition quickly deteriorated and he died at 10.45pm on January 18.

Dr Frances Cranfield, assistant deputy coroner for Hertfordshire, held the inquest and said Mr Kynaston died of malignant mesothelioma.

The condition is a rare form of cancer which causes malignant cells in the lining of the chest or abdomen - it is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.

The inquest heard that Mr Kynaston left school when he was 17 to start an industrial apprenticeship, working in power stations during the 1960s and 1970s.

He worked as an assistant engineer at Fulham Power Station before moving on to Acton Lane Power Station, where he worked in the turbine hall and boiler house.

In a statement from Mr Kynaston, written in June last year, he said that, while he never removed or replaced asbestos himself, he was working in close proximity to it during this time.

Mr Kynaston, an active cyclist, had to be admitted to West Herts Hospital in April last year when he was suffering from shortness of breath.

He underwent surgery, but in a statement read out by the hospital, he recovered well and was released.

However, due to worsening symptoms from breathlessness, his condition quickly deteriorated and he had to be admitted to the Peace Hospice where he died on January 18, 2013.