Boston University Gets OK to Build Level 4 Lab

BOSTON – Boston University (BU) received the go-ahead on Feb. 16 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to erect a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory.

BU is only the second university in the country to have this type of lab, which will allow for the experimentation of potentially lethal microbes. The University of Texas in Galveston is the other U.S. university with such a laboratory.

Many Bostonians, including students, residents and politicians, are opposed to the research facility being built and operated in the South End of their city. They are concerned about the potential health hazards to residents in the urban neighborhood.

A local organization opposing the lab’s construction has prepared two lawsuits against BU, including one that was heard Feb. 17.

Additionally, Boston councilman Chuck Turner introduced an ordinance that would ban Level 4 research facilities in the city. Currently, however, he does not have enough votes for the measure to pass.

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