Belfast Telegraph

Investigation into high levels of cancer among staff at Ulster University

An investigation has found that a Ulster University campus was not responsible for high levels of cancer among staff.

The BBC has reported that a Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) investigation found insufficient evidence that the Jordanstown campus was responsible for causing higher than average levels of cancer among the staff.

The area affected was the lower part of block seven in the main Jordanstown Campus building, which housed around 35 staff working in the university's IT department.

No students had access to the area and the university has said that no staff will be permanently based in the area going forward.

A university spokesperson has said that the campus is safe for both staff and students.

The investigation took place after a former staff member had concerns about the high level of cancer diagnoses among staff working in that area in recent years.

They then approached the NICR whole carried out an investigation at the campus. Ulster University also carried out its own investigation in the area.

The NICR report found that cancer rates were higher than the Northern Ireland average but found insufficient evidence that the cancer was a result of an environmental factor at the campus.

"The small number of cases and the lack of an obvious relationship between the types of cancer diagnosed suggests that any differences are more likely a result of random chance, lifestyle or genetic factors," the report said.

Ulster University's Director of People and Culture Damian McAlister told the BBC that staff who had worked in the area had been contacted to make them aware of the matter.

"We particularly think of those staff who are ill at this time and their families," he said.

"All of those tests have returned safe results that indicate to us there are no environmental factors at this stage that we know of that would cause the cancer that has been reported in our staff."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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