16 Oct 2015

Asbestos in hospital not a safety risk, says DHB

7:41 am on 16 October 2015

The Southern District Health board says no one's safety is at risk after asbestos was found in three buildings at Dunedin Public Hospital.

Dunedin Hospital.

Dunedin Hospital. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Inspections, which began at the hospital last month, found asbestos dust particles in ceiling spaces and in one basement.

Three buildings were found to have the hazardous mineral; the Clinical Services building, the Fraser Building and a lecture theatre block.

Southern District Health Board Commissioner Cathy Grant said she didn't believe anyone had been exposed, and the areas affected were only accessible by trained proffessionals.

She said work hadn't been distrupted in any of the buildings, including the public area of the lecture theatre.

Further investigations are now underway by specialists to determine the nature of the asbestos and how far-reaching it is.

"The purpose of our conducting further tests is really to plan a course of action in conjunction with our industry expert, then we'll be in a position to remove or encapsulate the asbestos."

Inspections will also commence at all DHB buildings in Dunedin, Southland and at the Lakes Hospital in Queenstown.

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