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The Office of Public Works (OPW) has agreed the “budget and methodology” to carry out maintenance work at the State Laboratory building following leaks after heavy rain earlier this year, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.
At the February meeting of the State Laboratory management board, minutes of which have been seen by MI following a Freedom of Information request, it was mentioned there was “ingress in a number of labs” following heavy rain.
“Four labs were affected by this water ingress, work was not required to be halted and no damage to equipment occurred,” a spokesperson for the State Laboratory told MI.
“The OPW has agreed budget and methodology to carry out maintenance work on the façade of the State Laboratory building.” The work was due to commence imminently.
“In the meantime, there will be additional surveillance of laboratories experiencing rainwater leaks during heavy rainfall out of hours and at weekends.”
At the November management board meeting, the installation of a tobacco analysis room and the commissioning of a smoking machine was discussed. However, the spokesperson said “there have been delays in commissioning [tobacco analysis] room and instrument as a result of restricted work practices and travel for engineers during the pandemic”.
The State Laboratory was designated by the Department of Health as the testing laboratory for Ireland for the purposes of carrying out testing on tobacco products, as set out in the European Union (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016.
A tobacco analysis room provides the necessary controlled temperature and humidity environment required for the correct operation of a smoking machine, which is required to test the emissions produced by tobacco products.
“A smoking machine is used to smoke tobacco products in order to test the tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide content. Whilst no machine-smoking regimen can represent all human smoking behaviour, this machine smoking testing is useful for characterising cigarette emissions for design and regulatory purposes,” said the spokesperson.