New Safety Review Ordered at Pentagon's Anthrax Labs Following Contamination

Anthrax contamination found at one lab, Pentagon officials said.

The contamination was found on Aug. 20 in a secure area of the facility, and according to a Pentagon statement there is no evidence that lab employees were exposed to anthrax or that there was any threat to the general public. The area was later decontaminated and no anthrax was found in later testing, officials said.

Army Secretary John McHugh ordered the ten-day safety review for the nine Defense Department labs since the Army is responsible for the program.

"The safety review ensures labs will follow appropriate protocols for handling materials, including proper training, record-keeping, and standard operating procedures. Each lab will report back on its findings within ten days," McHugh said in a statement.

“The Secretary of the Army is the Executive Agent for DoD Biological Select Agent and Toxin Biosafety program and acted out of an abundance of caution," he added.

The contamination was discovered as part of the ongoing investigation at Dugway into the mistaken shipment of live anthrax to lab facilities to all 50 states and nine countries.

The Army has also expanded the existing suspension of production, handling, testing and shipment of anthrax to also include Critical Reagents Program (CRP) and other agents and toxins, officials said.