Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bioterror Lab Fails Inspection

So after reading about all the measures of security undertaken in Biosafety Level 3 and 4 labs, I’m surprised to hear that a $5.6 million lab in the United States has failed standards for opening, a delay from 2007. The inspectors found that some of the doors did not close well or seal properly and incorrect alarms went off. The author of the second article makes it out as minor and easily fixable, but I’m imagining if a mindset of complacency takes hold in existing labs during the interim period in between inspections. Also, I know the CDC has outlined requirements for their biosafety levels, but I don’t know if the global community follows inspection rules rigorously. Does anybody know if there is a published documentation of inspections of labs in non-EU, non-US countries? I’m also surprised to hear that a BSL-3 lab can handle anthrax, smallpox, H1N1 and the like. However, maybe the detection of this Pennsylvania lab’s faults indicates an effective monitoring system and this is a good sign for biosafety.

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