Security Needs At Biosafety Labs | October 27, 2008 Issue - Vol. 86 Issue 43 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 43 | p. 24 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 27, 2008

Security Needs At Biosafety Labs

Department: Government & Policy

Two of the U.S.’s five biosafety level 4 labs lack key security controls, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report (GAO-08–1092). BSL-4 facilities are used to handle the most dangerous biological agents, such as those that cause foot and mouth disease and smallpox. GAO evaluated the labs according to 15 security control criteria that include closed-circuit monitoring, perimeter barriers, and roving security patrols. Three of the examined installations had all or nearly all of the security measures in place. Two labs were found to have only three or four key security controls in place. “Today’s report shows a lack of minimum standards for perimeter security at research labs handling the most dangerous agents and diseases,” Rep. Joe Barton (D-Texas), senior Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

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