ACP expert discusses risks of biocontainment laboratories

ACP expert discusses risks of biocontainment laboratories
The risks emanating from biocontainment laboratories should be prevented by implementation of appropriate safety policies and procedures, according to an editorial published online July 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay)—The risks emanating from biocontainment laboratories should be prevented by implementation of appropriate safety policies and procedures, according to an editorial published online July 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Deborah Cotton, M.D., M.P.H., from the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia, discusses the risk of bioterror from biocontainment laboratories, noting factors that contribute to safety lapses and strategies to prevent future incidents.

Cotton notes that in 2008 there were investigations into allegations of security and safety flaws in a laboratory that contained anthrax. In June 2014, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported cases of improper handling and storage of live anthrax, deadly H5N1 influenza virus, and . These accidents revealed unacceptable behaviors, including numerous and serious safety lapses. Safely conducting research with deadly pathogens requires continuously updated safety training, policy, and procedures. The necessary all-encompassing culture of safety essential for work in biosafety level (BSL)-3 and BSL-4 laboratories is missing from many.

"We should suspend all research at BSL-4 laboratories until a thorough review of the CDC accidents can be completed," Cotton writes. "For the future, greatly limiting the number of BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories would probably better enable us to ensure their safety."

More information: Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CDC issues tough report on anthrax scare

Jul 12, 2014

(HealthDay)—U.S. health officials have concluded that it's highly unlikely any lab workers were exposed to live anthrax during a safety mishap last month.

Safety problems at US germ labs acknowledged

Jul 16, 2014

(AP)—The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Wednesday that systemic safety problems have for years plagued federal public health laboratories that handle dangerous ...

Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems

Jul 14, 2014

A second investigation found more safety problems at federal health laboratories in Atlanta, including the use of expired disinfectants and the transfer of dangerous germs in Ziploc bags.

300 vials labeled flu, dengue found at US lab (Update)

Jul 16, 2014

The same U.S. government scientist who recently found forgotten samples of smallpox at a federal lab also uncovered over 300 additional vials, many bearing the names of highly contagious viruses and bacteria. The new revelations ...

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone, Liberia brace for new Ebola cases

10 hours ago

Two of the West African nations hardest hit by Ebola were bracing for new caseloads on Monday after trying to outflank the outbreak with a nationwide checkup and a large new clinic.

Reversing the effects of pulmonary fibrosis

10 hours ago

Yale University researchers are studying a potential new treatment that reverses the effects of pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease in which scars develop in the lungs and severely hamper breathing.

Streets bustling after Sierra Leone shutdown ends

16 hours ago

Streets in Sierra Leone's capital bustled again Monday after an unprecedented nationwide shutdown during which officials said more than 1 million households were checked for Ebola patients and given information ...

User comments