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Vol. LXIII, No. 21
October 14, 2011

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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: Is there a reason why they are removing the bricks from parts of the Magnuson section of Bldg. 10? We were given no warning that this was going to happen and the noise of the jack-hammering makes it hard to do research and support the mission of NIH. Are new bricks going back up, or the old?

Response from the Office of Research Facilities: Three rows of bricks and windows on the south facade of Bldg. 10 will be removed and replaced with horizontal louvers as part of the F-wing renovation of former patient care areas into lab and lab support spaces. These louvers are for intake of fresh air into the building air-handling systems that will be located on floors 4, 9 and 13.  

In addition, brick is being removed from the west side of the G-wing, in preparation for the construction of a new exterior shaft for steam and chilled water piping for the F-wing project.

There are a number of projects currently under way in Bldg. 10 and the ACRF. It is not possible to comment on the noise complaint without knowing where the occupant is located and when the noise occurred. The F-wing project team is working with the contractor, facility manager and the Division of Occupational Health and Safety, ORS, to restrict daytime noise to essential operations.

Feedback: I am really shocked by the number of people that I still see smoking on campus. You can smell smoke just about anywhere and most people do not even try to hide the fact they are smoking. Are certain people exempt from this new rule? I must say that not a day goes by that I don’t see someone smoking. Please do something about this.

Response from the Office of Research Services: Since the implementation of the NIH Tobacco Free Policy in 2008, there has been a precipitous decline in the number of individuals overtly smoking on the Bethesda campus. With this decline, the number of individuals exposed to second- hand smoke has also dropped sharply.

NIH has collective bargaining agreements with unions representing employees who work at NIH. Until the Tobacco Free Policy can be made a part of all these agreements, there will be individuals who are allowed to smoke on the campus as long as they abide by the previous NIH Smoking Policy.

The NIH Tobacco Free Policy ( is an administrative policy and, as such, it is the responsibility of every employee to become fully aware of its tenets and comply with them. Similarly, it is the responsibility of every manager and supervisor to ensure that the NIH staff reporting to them are aware of all NIH policies and totake appropriate action if they become aware that one or more of their staff is not in compliance.

In general, employee compliance with the NIH Tobacco Free Policy has been outstanding. We certainly do not have 100 percent compliance but the atmosphere is markedly cleaner and safer.

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