updated 7/2/2008 1:25:32 PM ET 2008-07-02T17:25:32

Construction work on part of the foundations of the London 2012 Olympic stadium has been temporarily halted after asbestos was found on the site.

Work on one section was stopped as a precautionary measure to protect workers from exposure to the material, which can cause tumors and other serious illnesses, the Olympic Delivery Authority said Wednesday.

Illness from inhaling asbestos only usually occurs from repeated exposure over a period of time.

Activity on the rest of the Olympic site is continuing as normal.

“The health and safety of the work force is our No. 1 priority,” said Lawrence Waterman, the ODA’s head of health and safety. “We are working with the relevant authorities and expect work to restart progressively as protective measures are put in place over the next few days.”

The stoppage shouldn’t cause too many delays, since construction on the Olympic Stadium site started three months earlier than planned in May 2008. The piling work to create the permanent foundations is more than half finished.

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