Health and Life Sciences

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The Science behind public protection – The Commonwealth Games and beyond

The Science behind public protection – The Commonwealth Games and beyond

The project: Glasgow Scientific Services is a local authority public analyst laboratory, providing a scientific and advisory service to Glasgow City Council, a further 15 Scottish Local Authorities and the emergency services.

The team have been working with Glasgow and North Lanarkshire Councils in the lead up to the Games, ensuring a high degree of public protection for the athletes, officials, visitors and citizens. A 24/7 scientific adviser service is provided for our emergency services in the event of a hazardous materials incident or malicious white powder event.

The challenge: Making sure that the air we breathe is not polluted, the food consumed is safe, nutritious and authentic, consumer products are genuine and have no safety issues and the water we swim in is of an appropriate standard is a huge undertaking. This is especially challenging when one million extra visitors will be visiting Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games.

The purpose: Working with our partners in environmental health and trading standards as well as a range of other local authority services, a sampling and analysis programme is in place to check regulatory compliance in relation to our environment, food and drink, consumer products and games venues.

The people and partners: Our key partners are environmental health and trading standards. Officers are on the ground carrying out safety inspections and risk assessments. This results in a wide range of samples being taken for chemical analysis and microbiological examination.

The outcomes: The testing is carried out in our modern laboratory in Glasgow, which has state of the art equipment, fully trained and experienced staff and one of the most extensive schedules of accreditation in the UK. Test reports are issued with results of analysis, comments and interpretation in order that any subsequent enforcement action can be taken

The proposed impact: An enhanced fit for purpose sampling, analysis and advisory service leading up to and during the Games will provide a reassurance that athletes, officials, visitors and citizens will be afforded a high level of protection as they enjoy all the city has to offer. This will support economic growth, provide an improved quality of life and protect our reputation as the world enjoys the Games.


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This case study was published in July 2014.



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