BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A CDC facility in Atlanta was temporarily shut down after they identified problems with the air hoses. These air hoses are connected to the protective suits that the researchers are wearing and it allows them to breathe fresh air in an environment full of viruses.
The facility in question is the $214 million Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory. There are about 100 lab workers that used the air hose in labs with the level 4 biosafety.
It is not the first time when the air hoses in this lab have malfunctions. Previous investigations showed that these air hoses usually disconnect while they are in use. This might cause the exposure of the scientists to many deadly pathogens, including Ebola. Also, the investigations revealed that CDC had been covering up these incidents until they were forced to take responsibility.
A CDC scientist whose name has not been disclosed revealed in 2013 that he experienced problems with the air hose while working in a lab with lethal pathogens. At the moment, CDC urged all scientists to ensure that their suits work properly and can prevent them from being exposed to the germs. However, this would have not become public if a federal push had not been applied to CDC.
After these events, Steve Monroe, the associate director for laboratory science and safety of CDC, revealed that he had been in constant touch with the company that manufactured the air hoses. He did not disclose the name of the company, but he revealed that they admitted their air hoses were not certified to provide fresh air in laboratory environments.
He also revealed that CDC were transparent enough regarding this issue and tried not to reveal anything until they were forced to. In order to prevent the prolonged halt of lab work, they found a new manufacturer that was able to fix the faulty air hoses and connect them properly to the protective suits.
The first shipment of the improved hoses will arrive on Friday, while more supplies are on their way and will be obtain as work progresses in the lab.
Perfectly functional air hoses are mandatory in labs that host deadly germs so that they can allow scientists to work in such settings without contracting viruses and having breathable air at the same time.
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