Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Second probe details more CDC anthrax lab problems

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Dad: Boys charged in homeless deaths once homeless

    Dad: Boys charged in homeless deaths once homeless

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:23 AM EDT2014-07-22 07:23:29 GMT
    A man who says he is the father of two of three teens charged with fatally beating two homeless men says that they too were once homeless, and he has no idea what prompted the brutal Friday night attack that police...More >>
    A man who says he is the father of two of three teens charged with fatally beating two homeless men says that they too were once homeless, and he has no idea what prompted the brutal Friday night attack that police say...More >>
  • American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel

    American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:01 AM EDT2014-07-22 07:01:56 GMT
    By JULIE WATSON Associated Press The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel.More >>
    By JULIE WATSON Associated Press The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel.More >>
  • Teen's death puts focus on caffeine powder dangers

    Teen's death puts focus on caffeine powder dangers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:41 AM EDT2014-07-22 06:41:34 GMT
    The sudden death of a healthy high school senior has ramped up attention on unregulated caffeine powder, leading federal health authorities to warn consumers to stay away from the substance.More >>
    A few weeks before their prom king's death, students at an Ohio high school had attended an assembly on narcotics that warned about the dangers of heroin and prescription painkillers.More >>
By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - A second investigation has detailed additional safety problems at federal health laboratories in Atlanta, including the use of expired disinfectants and the transfer of dangerous germs in Ziploc bags.

The new findings were disclosed Monday in a congressional committee's summary of a U.S. Department of Agriculture report on the CDC anthrax incident.

The USDA report focuses on an incident last month at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab that handles bioterrorism agents. The lab was supposed to completely kill anthrax samples before sending them to two other CDC labs. But the higher-security lab did not completely sterilize the bacteria.

Dozens of CDC workers were potentially exposed to dangerous anthrax bacteria. No one got sick, but a CDC internal investigation report released last week found serious safety lapses, including use of unapproved sterilization techniques and use of a potent anthrax in an experiment that didn't require that germ to be used.

Separate from the CDC probe, investigators from the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services came to the CDC to look into what happened.

A USDA spokeswoman said her agency does not release its reports to the public. The CDC did not immediately release the report, either. But the findings were summarized in a report released by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee, which is holding a hearing Wednesday on recent reports of CDC lab problems.

According to the congressional memo, the USDA found:

-Disinfectants used for decontamination of vials and bags had expired, and CDC staff couldn't remember if they used the expired products in cleaning up after the anthrax incident.

-At least some of the lab workers who were potentially exposed were not examined until five days later.

-Security measures within the lab building were flawed. Anthrax was stored in unlocked refrigerators in an unrestricted hallway. The key to one refrigerator sat in its lock.

-Germ materials were transferred between labs in two Ziploc bags, failing to meet containment guidelines.

A CDC spokesman said the agency is "carefully scrutinizing" the report.

"Some findings are already being addressed, and others will be addressed as soon as possible," said the spokesman, Tom Skinner.

"We'll do anything that's going to make our safety processes and procedures even better," he added.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.