A bill (S. 1649) that would seek to prevent terrorist attacks in part by strengthening security at laboratories that handle dangerous pathogens has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The measure must now be considered by the full Senate.
The bill would require that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designate which pathogens have the potential to be used most successfully in a biological attack. DHS would then be required to establish new security standards for laboratories that handle these types of pathogens. The security standards would include risk assessments, employee screening, and training.