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Colin Holstein, 61, worked in hotels at Stockport and Wigan in the 1960s and 1970s and was frequently exposed to the substance in their boiler rooms and cellars.
He stated that he never thought anything of it at the time, but he has since been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Speaking to Wigan Today, Mr Holstein said this leaves him "incredibly short of breath", as fluid is building up on his lungs.
"The atmosphere there was very dusty," he continued.
"I certainly never expected it would come back to haunt me so many years later."
Mr Holstein is now calling on people who worked with him at the Alma Lodge in Stockport and the Brocket in Wigan to support his legal claim.
He added that at both hotels, asbestos had been used to lag the pipework, which was in a "poor state of repair".
According to the Health and Safety Executive, 2,249 people died as a result of mesothelioma in 2008.
Posted by Helen Jones
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