Oxford

Asbestos find closes Oxford University building for two years

The Tinbergen Building Image copyright Google
Image caption The university said it does not believe there are health risks to regular users of the Tinbergen Building

About 1,650 staff and students will have to move out of an Oxford University building for up to two years after asbestos was discovered.

The Tinbergen Building, which houses the departments of zoology and experimental psychology, will be closed from Monday.

A university spokesman said it was not believed there was a health risk to regular users of the building.

He said asbestos was found last year, but it was not in "accessible" areas.

'Unprecedented situation'

A total of 750 staff are based in the building and it is used by 900 students.

A statement said: "We do not believe there is, or has been, a health risk to regular users of the building, and more than 200 air quality readings, taken since September 2016, support this belief.

"But this asbestos cannot be removed while the building is occupied, so we have decided to close the building while expert contractors carry out remedial works.

"We apologise to staff and students for the inconvenience that this unprecedented situation will cause, and we will do all we can to support them so that research and teaching can continue."

Prolonged inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

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