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Do You Think The Boston University Biolab Is Safe For The South End?

A successful report from the National Institute Of Health has brought the University one step closer to studying Ebola and other highly lethal viruses at its center in the South End, but do South End neighbors support this?

The lab, also called the The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, or NEIDL, intends to become a Level 4 Biolab, which means that, at this lab, according to The National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases, "scientists study some of the world's potentially most dangerous microbes," including many diseases for which there is no cure currently known. 

The lab is currently operating at a lower bio-safety level, but, according to two new reports from the Boston Globe, a recent study by an "independent scientific panel" advising the National Institute Of Health has resulted in a 1,700 page review and the conclusion that "the latest federal assessment of safety risks posed by the infectious-disease lab is significantly improved and nearly ready for public comment."

The meeting for this public comment will be on February 16th at Hibernian Hall on Dudley Street in Roxbury, but we want to know what you think in the meantime.  Do you want the Biolab in your neighborhood?

isogeny December 20, 2011 at 03:28 PM
It is irrelevant whether South End residents support it. Unless they have a degree in Biology, Medicine, or safety engineering they are not entitled to have an opinion .
Kasey Hariman December 20, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Isogeny, we're going to have to disagree there. If we limit public debate to only folks with specific degrees, it's not a public debate at all. One of the basic principles of democracy is that people should have a say in the world they live in. Many folks believe that the BU Biolab is dangerous, and some of them have degrees, just as many folks who support it have varying levels of professional training. If a truck has a massive accident in the South End and unleashes the Ebola virus on the neighborhood, people will be affected regardless of the degree they hold, just as the promise of jobs from the biolab extends to security guards, maintenance workers, and receptionists who may not have formal degrees.
Douglas December 20, 2011 at 05:29 PM
Every investigation regarding the murderous release of Anthrax spores in the fall of 2001 (that killed five people) points to an employee of a Level 4 Biolab. Given this, we can never be truly safe. Having the Biolab right in our neighborhood makes us even less so.

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