THE University of Worcester says it has been very pro-active in dealing with asbestos in its buildings.

The statement comes after cancer charity Mesothelioma UK names the university as one of 77 across the UK where the dangerous substance could be present.

A university spokesman said: “The university takes the safety of all those using our facilities, including students, staff and visitors very seriously and meticulously adheres to all national regulations and guidance.

“Asbestos is present in very many buildings across the UK including schools, hospitals and homes built before 2000. This includes a few buildings used by the university. As the Health and Safety Executive acknowledges, a large number of buildings contain asbestos. Its presence alone should not cause concern provided it is managed properly.

“In recent years, the university has been very pro-active in removing asbestos. This includes every case where it has been recommended by independent, qualified experts.

“All removal has been carried out safely by approved and licensed contractors.

“In some instances, the risk of removing asbestos containing materials is greater than managing it.

“In such an instance we contain and manage the material, as advised by the experts of the Health and Safety Executive. We are also highly pro-active in training university staff in managing this material which was installed all over the UK in the 1960s and 1970s in particular.

“None of the new university buildings which have been constructed in the 2000s have asbestos within them and we have removed the asbestos from buildings we have bought and refurbished such as the former Worcester Royal Infirmary which now forms the core of our city campus.”

Mesothelioma UK says the issue needs to be treated as a “national priority”.