A retired steelworker was left stunned by two asbestos-related disease diagnoses after his wife spotted him getting breathless - while putting on his socks.

Iain MacKenzie, from Glasgow’s West End, used to bag Munros and cycle every day, believing he was fit and healthy his whole life.

The 85-year-old learned he had been poisoned by the deadly substance after he started getting breathless.

Doctors have told him he suffers from pleural plaques and pleural thickening, having worked with toxic roofing sheets in the 1960s.

After ten years as an able seaman in the Merchant Navy, Mr MacKenzie worked with a construction firm as a rigger erector in the 60s.

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One of his duties involved removing asbestos roof sheets - known as "lagging" - from a warehouse on South Street in Glasgow city centre.

Glasgow Times:

He was never supplied with safety gloves, breathing masks or boiler suits, so it is believed that is how the deadly asbestos fibres entered his lungs and skin.

Mr MacKenzie believes thousands more are affected and has called on Scots to raise concerns with NHS medics and charities, like Clydebank Asbestos Group (CAG).

He said: "Doctors don't routinely ask if asbestos was present in your past - which is strange in itself given Glasgow's working heritage - so you need to flag it up if they don't.

"Even family members could be affected because it would be common for tradesmen to come home with asbestos on their clothes.”

Problems only became apparent two years ago when wife Helen, 67, grew concerned that he became breathless while simply putting on his socks.

Mr MacKenzie's local GP referred him to an asthma specialist at Gartnavel Hospital but the specialist raised concerns and sent him to a respiratory expert at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).

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It was then confirmed he had pleural plaques and pleural thickening, which can take around 20 years to develop after asbestos exposure.

Pleural Plaques are small areas of thickening, usually on the lining of the lung, and leaves scarring or shadowing on the lungs.

Pleural thickening is also thickening of the pleural surfaces of the lung or the visceral inner surface, although it can also affect the outer lining of the lungs - causing chest pain and breathing difficulty.

Mr MacKenzie - who has four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild - is being helped by not-for-profit charity CAG.

Despite feeling “lucky”, Mr Mackenzie believes there could be thousands more people like him across the city.

He said: "I still feel lucky as there's worse conditions to be diagnosed with but there must be hundreds, if not thousands, more unknowingly suffering worse conditions than me.

"You need to act now as these steps are also for your family too as it's them who care for you and pick up the pieces."