It has been confirmed that material containing asbestos was found during the ongoing building works in the Atrium early today, causing an evacuation.
A university spokesperson told us: “Contractors undertaking work in relation to our ongoing Campus Central redevelopment project earlier today found some asbestos-containing material and, to ensure its safe removal, the Library and Atrium area was closed to staff, students and visitors.
“As a precaution, air quality tests are being carried out, to ensure the space can be reopened as soon as possible and we appreciate the patience of our staff and students while this work is completed.”
As well as wreaking havoc with students daily routines this aftertoon, asbestos also has a number of severe health risks attached to it.
Asbestos is a mineral used in many products because of its resistance to heat, but exposure to it is the primary cause of mesothelioma, an aggresive type of cancer.
Over decades, trapped asbestos fibres can cause scarring and eventual genetic damage to the body’s cells. Lung cancer can also be cause by exposure to the mineral.
An e-mail sent out to all students highlights that study space for those who need it can be found in the Cottrell and Pathfoot portacabins and in empty teaching spaces.
And Underground will remain open later than usual until 10pm this evening, to give students extra study space.
Students are being informed that access to the Students’ Union and Nisa supermarket remains possible, including via the fire exit stairs, and the pharmacy can be accessesed through its rear entrance.
If anyone requires extra assistance, students are being adviced to contact the Student Hub on 01786 466022 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. The Macrobert Arts Centre remain unaffected.
Featured image credit: Sam Ormiston