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
- 7/11/14: CDC Report on the Potential Exposure to Anthrax pdf icon[PDF – 742 KB]
- 8/15/14: CDC Report on Cross-Contamination and Shipment of a Laboratory Specimen with Influenza Virus H5N1 pdf icon[PDF – 608 KB]
- 12/16/14: Next Steps: Biosafety and Biosecurity at the CDC pdf icon[PDF – 120 KB]
- 12/16/14: Fact Sheet on Biosafety and Biosecurity in the United States: Results of the Safety Stand-Down pdf icon[PDF – 526 KB]
- 2/4/15: CDC Report on the Potential Exposure to Ebola Virus pdf icon[PDF – 566 KB]
- 2/13/15: Recommendations of the CDC Advisory Committee to the Director Concerning Laboratory Safety at CDC pdf icon[PDF – 52.5 KB]
Below are press materials on CDC’s laboratory safety events:
Media Releases & Materials
- 6/19/14: CDC lab determines possible anthrax exposures: staff provided antibiotics/monitoring
- 7/1/14: CDC update on potential anthrax exposure
- 7/8/14: CDC media statement on newly discovered smallpox specimens
- 7/24/14: CDC announces the formation of an external laboratory safety workgroup
- 7/24/14: New safety protocols in place, first CDC lab resumes transfer of inactivated materials out of high-containment laboratory
- 8/15/14: CDC Progress on Laboratory Safety
- 12/24/2014: Lab Safety Report on Ebola Virus Transfer
- 2/4/15: CDC Releases Report on Recent Lab Incident
- 9/15/2015: Stephan Monroe Named CDC Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Safety
- 3/31/2016: Potential Laboratory-acquired Salmonella Infection at CDC
- 7/11/14: CDC Director releases after-action report on recent anthrax incident; highlights steps to improve laboratory quality and safety
Press Briefing Transcript & Video
Below are written Congressional testimonies by CDC officials about safety at CDC laboratories:
- Testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, July 16, 2014, written statement
- Testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, April 20, 2016, written statement pdf icon[PDF – 84.4 KB]external icon
- Testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, September 27, 2016, written statement pdf icon[PDF – 408 KB]external icon