In The Field

ASM 2008: Biosafety stats

Richard Henkel of the Centers for Disease Control gave a talk yesterday about biosafety in the lab. It was primarily a nitty-gritty run-down of which forms to fill out if there’s a theft, loss, or release of potentially harmful microbes or toxins that are on the US ‘select agent’ list. In case you’re wondering, you may need to file a ‘Form 3’ in that event. And he gave a few interesting statistics on how many Form 3’s have been filed over the years:

2003: 4

2004: 19

2005: 19

2006: 24

2007: 60 (plus one case in which an institution failed to report an illness contracted from on-the-job exposure)

2008 (through April): 32

(Henkel attributes the dramatic increase to higher awareness of proper reporting.)

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