Critics worry about duct-taped germ lab

June 22, 2008 at 3:28 PM

ATLANTA, June 22 (UPI) -- A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory is using duct tape to seal a room where deadly bacteria experiments are performed, officials say.

The duct tape was placed around the edges of the containment door at the $214 million Atlanta lab a year ago, after the building's ventilation system malfunctioned and pulled potentially contaminated air out of the lab and into a "clean" hallway, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday.

At the time, nine CDC workers were tested for potential exposure to the Q fever bacteria being studied in the lab, CDC officials said this week.

The CDC Q fever lab's air containment systems have since worked properly, agency officials said.

The lab is safe and poses no risk to workers, yet the duct tape remains in place.

"It's an enhancement," said Patrick Stockton, CDC safety and occupational health manager. "We could take it off."

Critics, however, are not so sure.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said the duct tape use calls into question the CDC's self-inspection policy.

"I highly doubt that the CDC would accept duct-taped doors on the privately owned bio labs it inspects," Dingell said Friday.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kim Jong Un had terrapin farm manager executed, says source
B-52 bombers demo long reach of U.S. air power
Army orders tactical trucks from Oshkosh
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
North Korea requests medical aid from U.N. agencies