Eleven federal departments and agencies have conducted a review of more than 4,000 research facilities to identify potentially dangerous research compounds. The sweep came in response to a “safety stand-down” ordered by the White House in response to improper storage of biological select agents and toxins used in federal research.
In addition to adequately storing or disposing of select agents, agencies also developed improved laboratory biosafety and biosecurity protocols.
Of the more than 40 million samples reviewed, 27 instances were reported of agents that were not properly stored. The White House reports that there is no evidence that humans were exposed to any of these agents or toxins.
Non-governmental labs were also eligible to participate in the safety review. Potentially dangerous materials found at these labs were either destroyed or transferred to an organization registered to possess such substances.
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