Issue Date: July 2, 2012
Lawmakers Look Into Safety Slips At CDC
The House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee is investigating reports of possible safety lapses at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, in Atlanta. In a June 25 letter to CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, committee leaders requested all information since 2005 related to safety incidents at the laboratory, known as CDC Building 18. The committee also seeks details about Building 18, including the number of people in the building, a list of biological agents housed there, a list of labs at the facility, and a list of research areas currently being worked on. The investigation was prompted by news reports last month about fire safety issues and problems with the building’s airflow systems, which are designed to prevent the escape of infectious agents. The laboratory is a $214 million biosafety-level-three germ facility used for research involving anthrax, influenza, and other dangerous microbes that could be used as bioweapons. CDC has until July 6 to provide lawmakers with the requested information.
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