Historical CDC Laboratory Safety Activities

Following laboratory safety events at CDC involving select agents in 2014, CDC conducted comprehensive internal reviews of each incident.  An inspection of each involved laboratory was also conducted by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Agricultural Select Agent Services. During each review, an assessment of the event, contributing factors, and risk mitigation practices was completed.  Each review resulted in a report of findings and recommendations.

Laboratory Safety Activities at CDC since 2015

  • Created the position of the Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Safety (ADLSS)—a senior official who serves as the single point of accountability for laboratory safety and science at CDC.
  • Fullfilled the recommendations of key internal and external workgroups on how to strengthen laboratory safety.
  • Established a Laboratory Safety Review Board to rigorously review and approve every protocol for the transfer of biological materials out of high-containment labs.
  • Streamlined, centralized, and educated CDC staff on laboratory safety event reporting for improved monitoring of events and patterns of events.
  • Reinvigorated laboratory safety and quality training.

CDC is committed to continuous improvement in its laboratories and ensuring its laboratories are a model of excellence and safety. The ADLSS works in partnership with CDC’s world-class laboratories to realize this vision.

Below are archived reports on CDC’s laboratory safety events:

Reports & Findings

Below are press materials on CDC’s laboratory safety events:

Media Releases & Materials

Media Statements

Press Release

Press Briefing Transcript & Video

Below are written Congressional testimonies by CDC officials about safety at CDC laboratories:

Congressional Testimonies

Page last reviewed: July 15, 2019