Lv 4
Tex asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Should we be worried about the location of Galveston National Laboratory?

Galveston National Laboratory is the second of only two National Laboratories in the US that contain the world's worst / highest of deadliest virus. Why did it get located on Galveston? This island has been destroyed several times historically by hurricanes. Why is a Biosafety lab level 4 located there? Was it political? Why is this not making national headlines as Galveston is predicted to get a huge brunt of hurricane IKE?


click on "What is Galveston National Laboratory?"



Gives details on the site and design. I agree that UTMA is well qualified for the facility. However, we are talking about a facility that if breached will kill million+ people. Why, Galveston? When considering the physical location has been completely washed over and there was no Galveston Island due to Hurricanes.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Actually, there are around a dozen BSL4 labs in the US. Georgia State University has one, the CDC, the Army, and several companies. This facility happens to work with Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers.

    As you may notice, none of these facilities are in earthquake prone areas. Containment is of course a serious issue, so your concern is understandable.

    However, a hurricane is not exactly a sudden event. Standard procedure is to kill everything and leave. They did that during Rita, and I am sure they are doing it now. These people aren't stupid.

    Why build it in Galveston? Because UTMB got the grant to build it. There might have been politics involved in its placement, but they are certainly qualified to have this facility.

    BSL4 facilities are far safer than a BSL3. I would be more concerned about a tornado or earthquake released anthrax than this.

    Source(s): Microbiologist
  • 4 years ago

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  • Labsci
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It is built at a rating higher than required to survive a category 6 hurricane, I'm sure. It is built within a medical university which researches diseases. If it was a political decision, it would have been built somewhere less appropriate, surely.


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