By Tehinina Bhote
THE UNIVERSITY of Southampton are carrying out programme to encapsulate large quantities of asbestos in several University buildings.
The highly toxic material, used for insulation and fire proofing also present in Halls of Residence however authorities insist it most cases. of no risk to staff and students.
University officials have assured students and staff that “there is no risk of contamination, provided that labelled asbestos is not disturbed.” Following a comprehensive asbestos survey carried out on all University buildings by an outside firm of consultants from the Health and Safety Executive, the Estates and Buildings department have set up an asbestos database, categorising all buildings on a risk rating’ basis.
This survey was carried out during the summer as part of a regular audit of the University’s Safety Policy. There were a small number of instances where the ‘risk rating’ was deemed high and these were dealt with by approved contractors within days of the being carried out. The Students’ Union Building contained no asbestos in the high risk category. The authorities at Estates and Buildings and those from the Health and Safety Executive have stressed time and time again there will be no risk of contamination from asbestos fibres as long as labelled asbestos is not disturbed.
WESSEX SCENE now reveals the problem is not just one for the University but much more widespread, even to the extent of it being present in many student houses.