Have a question about some aspect of working at NIH? You can post anonymous queries at
(click on the Feedback icon) and we’ll try to provide answers.
Feedback: Would it be possible for NIH to
install lighted crosswalks on campus? I have
seen these in various communities in the
area—strips of blinking lights at pedestrian
crosswalks. Especially in the late afternoon or
early evening, it can be difficult to notice the
crosswalks and anyone who may be crossing.
Answer from the Office of Research Facilities: The Office of Research Facilities investigated the
potential for lighted crosswalks on campus several
years ago and decided it would be too expensive.
Feedback: As someone who goes to the B1 cafeteria
in Bldg. 10 on a daily basis, I am used to
seeing people having lunch there in scrubs, lab
coats and other types of working attire. I am
not paranoid and I don’t mind if someone (who
may work in construction) has a little dirt on
his/her shirt. But I find it irresponsible, in fact
plain wrong, when people wear their scrubs and
lab coats. Bldg. 10 is home to a lot of patient related
work and this troubles me most: people
in scrubs effectively a) carry their patient/hospital/
lab environment to the common lunch
area, and b) carry back food to their patients! I
find this behavior to be in violation of common
practice (and common sense as well). Such two way
contamination of places that should be separate
could easily be avoided by leaving scrubs
and lab coats where they belong. I assume that
NIH has some policy in place regulating this
issue. If so, this is a policy worth enforcing.
|Posters reminding employees
about leaving lab coats in the
lab have been posted in strategic
locations across campus.
Answer from the Office of Research Services: Multiple NIH policies already prohibit lab coats,
scrubs, gloves and other garments used in a laboratory
or for animal care from being worn in
public areas. Generally, they should not be worn
outside of the laboratory area and definitely not
in cafeteria space.
NIH is aware of the problem—including issues
in cafeterias, on public transportation and in
other public areas—and is working to better
educate staff of this policy. The Division
of Occupational Health and Safety, ORS, has
tried to raise awareness via training sessions,
posters at the NIH Research Festival and signs
and stickers on laboratory doors, animal facilities
and outside cafeterias, including in Bldg.
10. However, as an employee, you can also
help by reminding your colleagues when you
see it happening.
Feedback: Can we please get Eurest to post the
nutritional content of the food served at NIH?
Answer from ORS: Eurest says there is too
much variability in its chefs’ recipes, so it does
not provide the information. However by the
end of March, the nutritional information for
Au Bon Pain, Sbarro’s and other commercial
vendors along with the USDA Guide to Better
Nutrition and Meal Planning will be posted
on the Food/Concession Services web site at