A FORMER North Sea oil worker is suing Shell after he was allegedly exposed to deadly asbestos dust more than 40 years ago.

Bill Jones, 67, cannot walk up stairs without getting breathless and is given two hours of oxygen treatment a day. He claims his health troubles were caused by inhaling the toxic powder while working for the firm in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

He was using a drilling chemical called Flosal, which may have contained up to 95 per cent powdered asbestos.

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The father-of-two, from Knowsley, Merseyside, said: "The dust I was exposed to was in such great volumes that, often after emptying sacks of Flosal, the room became a swirling mass of dust as the powder billowed up. My colleagues and I looked like snowmen within minutes."

Shell declined to comment on the case as it is the subject of ongoing litigation.