On Air Now
20 August 2014, 17:13
3,000 students in Wales slept last year in university bedrooms containing asbestos.
Cardiff, Aberystwyth and the University of Wales Trinity St David have all confirmed they have rooms with the material.
Cardiff University tell HEART they didn’t tell student as it was considered low risk in the rooms.
The British Lung Foundation called this "reckless".
Asbestos was widely used as a building material from the 1950s until the 1980s, often as fireproofing and insulation.
But it says the fibres if inhaled can cause lung damage.
Cardiff University has the highest number of bedrooms with asbestos - halls including Talybont North and Roy Jenkins Hall.
Cardiff University says in a statement...
"The safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance to us.
The University complies with legislative standards, and undertakes the appropriate asbestos testing and surveys.
All Residential Properties have been surveyed and the information is held on an asbestos register within the University and is available to all students and staff.
If any student or member of staff has questions about this, the University is happy to discuss matters directly with the individuals concerned.”
However, Lung specialist Patrick Floodpage tells HEART...
“We won’t know that someone has been exposed to asbestos until they get the disease and that doesn’t happen for thirty to forty years so we need to get things right now so we don’t regret it.
The important thing that the university needs to do is firstly be up front and secondly to reassure the students and thirdly keep monitoring the asbestos and ensure it doesn’t become unsafe.
It is possible to get lung disease from just being exposed to a small amount of asbestos.”