From ABC Online:
Thursday, May 11, 2006. 5:26pm (AEST)
Brain tumour cases prompt uni building closure
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) has launched a second health and safety investigation in just five years, after seven staff members from the University’s Bourke Street campus were diagnosed with brain tumours.
Five of the cases are not malignant.
The top floors of the Tivoli building are set to be closed.
All the staff involved have worked on those floors of the business faculty for up to 10 years.
Workers on the floors, who include administration staff and lecturers, have been relocated while the investigation takes place.
RMIT spokesman Steve Somogyi says some telecommunications transmitters have raised concerns.
“However they have been there for quite some time, so they were there when the original investigation in 2001 was conducted, so we do not rule in or rule out any conclusions at this stage until the experts who are doing their studies give us their report,” he said.
It is believed there is a mobile phone transmitter on the roof of the building.
Tertiary Education Union state secretary Matt McGowan says at least five of the cases are not malignant, and there is no concern for students at this stage.
“The majority of the staff who’ve been impacted have been there for 10 years, and this has come up after something like 10 years worth of service,” he said.
“So we don’t believe it’s something that would impact on students, who are in and out of the building once every now and then.”